Transcript

How The Traffic Cone Became One of America's Most Iconic Inventions

HOW THE TRAFFIC CONE BECAME ONE OF AMERICA'S MOST ICONIC INVENTIONS. The Traffic Cone is one of the few devices legally fit for public roads. Officials rely on it for temporary modifications: toseperate and merge lanes, mark pedestrian paths, indicate potholes, and block off construction. Yet, this wildly succesful inovation wasn'ta feat of meticulous engineering -it was the brainchild of a Los Angeles road worker and a local shop operator. How did the cone become so prevalent? Today, cones are sprinkled throughout the United States and beyond. They mark sports fields , police zones, private driveways, and even public estrooms! Over the years, improvements in industrial manufacturing and the development of federal safety policies helped the humble cone rise to international prominence. 1940 Charles D. Scanlon, a painter 1941 1943 for the Los Angeles Streets Department, designs a bollow, ballasted, cone-shaped "Safety Marker'to keep cars away from wet paint. At the time, road markers are made from heavy, breakable wood (or even Scanlon builds the first Safety Marker by sewing together strips of used tire skins. He partners with Rodney B. Taylor, a local tire shop operator, to complete the first batch. When the two men fail to locate a steady supply of discarded tires, theyabandon production. (2) The Safety Marker is patented in Scanlon's name, making it the first hollow conical (cone-shaped) road marker. "The design attempts to solve several problems: The object is made from "resilient material so it won't break or cause vehide damage, its heavy at the base so it can stay upright through wind and rebound from impact; It hasatop hole and base fee that low for easy stacking. The feet also lift the cone from painted asphalt. (1) Concrete). The most common is a small, wooden tri-pod, which The Safety Marker also doubles as an inexpensive sign. Cautionary words like "School"or Wet Paint" can be added to the surface and à warning flag can be placed through the top hole. (1) has to be assembled on site and B often run over, (1) "Some sources believe the first traffic cone was made from concrete in 1914 by New York City resident, Charles P.Rudabaker, but no patent or similar documentation exists under that name. Interstate Rubber Products Corporation, Owned by, Charles Tery, a partner of Scanlon and Taylor, begins manufacturing cones by placing rubber sheets inside a mold and heating them under high pressure (2)The dty of Los Angeles start using the markers, instead of iron hand es, to delineate additional lanes during peak trffic(2 1949 1951---- 1947 Isador D. Blumenthal, president of Radiator Specalty Company, based in Charlotte NC, visits the west coast and observes traffic cones in use. He approaches Interstate Rubber about an east coast partnership. They decine. (2) Interstate Rubber opens the "Safety Cone Traffic Corporation" to manufacture square-based cones. Around the same time, Radiator Specialty Company produces a strikingly similar product and establishes a new patent, the Safe-T-Cone." Cones are mass produced on both U.S. coasts. (2) L1971 1958 MUTCO establishes requirements for the modem traffic cone: A minimum height of 18-inches or larger (6)"where speeds are relatively high or wherever more conspicuous guidance is needed It also requires that cones be 'reflectorized or equipped with a lighting device"when used at night In 1978, the agency sets a 1066 Arising number of acidents and fatalities prompts the federal minimum height of 28-inches for cones Úsed on freeways. (7) The use of commercial cones spreads. In the U.K., paraffin burners are replaced with safety Cones on the newly opened M6 Motorway. Shortly after, Padific Gas and Electric Company in Oakland Califormia starts using cones to create work zone boundaries that protect delivery workers as they load and unload trucks. enactment of The Highway Safety Act, which establishes requirements for statewide highway safety programs, This efectively elevates the MUTCO from alist of recommendations to a growing book of mandates and makes the traffic cone a standardized safety tool for public roadways and work zones (5) 1986 During a copyright dispute, Morgan tracks down a rare model cone and begins a callection. (8) 1961 He currently holds the Guinness World Record -- 137 unique models and over S00 cones. (9) The traffic cone appears in the Manual For Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCO), the Federal Highway Administrations standards for highways safety tools. The rubber cone, as described, needs to be hand painted yellow or yellow-orange and have red trim at the top. (3) There are millions traffic cones in use globally. Good thing they're recyclable! Cones are found on tooftops, sports felds, ace tracks and countless parking lots, strets and tighways. The Pixar movie Cars features a motel made from traffic cones and Seattle has a traffic cone monument that's 18 feet high. There's eren a growing sector of artists who use traffic cones as their medium. What started in the back of a small tire shop has grown into a cultural motifand has helped sare an untold number of lives. TODAY According to his claims, David Morgan, an engineer from the U.K, invents the first commerdal plastic cone while employed by Imperial Chemical Industries (4) (7) United States Federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation. Marnual on Unifom Traffic Control Devices, 1978 ed. "Cone Design" (6(-3). Tafficinsus. Web. 20 May. 2014. (4)"Eccentric Britan, Znd: The Bradt Guide to Follies and Foibles."Bradt Travel Guides, p. 49-51 (1) Scarlon, Charles D."Safety Marker."US Patent 00233273.02 Nov, 1943. United States Patent and Trademark Offie Web. 20 May. 2014. (2) Interstate Rubber Product Cop vs. Radiator Specalty Company 860 CIV 120, United States District Court W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division. 1953. Leagale. Web. 20 May. 2014. (3) United States federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation. Manual on Uniorm (61 Unted States Feleral Highway Administration, Department of Transportation. Manual on Unform Trafic Control Devie, 1961 ed. "Cones and Drums" (SC-7), Traficign.us. Web.20 May. 2014. (5) Federal Highway Adrministabion, Department of Transportaton. Code of Federal Regulations: Tide 23 - Highways Vol 1. Section 655.603- Standards. US. Government Pinting Office. Web. 20 May (31 Hushes, Tom. "Traffic Cone Collection Tops 500." Oxford Mail. 12 2014. April. 2007. (9) Largest Collection of Traffc Cones. Guinness World Records. Web. 20 May. 2014. Traffic Control Devices, 1971 ed. "Cones and Drums" (6C-3). Trafficsign.us. Web. 20 May. 2014.

How The Traffic Cone Became One of America's Most Iconic Inventions

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There are millions traffic cones in use globally. Good thing they’re recyclable! Cones are found on rooftops, sports fields, race tracks and countless parking lots, streets and highways. The Pixar ...

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