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DID YOU KNOW THAT ABOUT BERLIN: THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS AT POTSDAMER PLATZ

I have read and seen pictures of this in Jason Lutes’s Graphic Novel “Berlin Steinerne Stadt”. There is also a great description of Potsdamer Platz where Ludwig Kirschner painted in Florian Illes great read “1913”.

KREUZBERGED - BERLIN COMPANION

The persistent rumour that the traffic light in Potsdamer Platz was the first such light in the world (or at least in Europe) is as unrelenting as it is incorrect. Despite what the guidebooks or travel pages may tell you, the light installed at the top of the original, over 10-metre tall traffic tower constructed on Potsdamer Platz on the night of October 20, 1924, was neither the first traffic light in Europe nor even in Germany.

Traffic in London at Ludgate Hill in 1872 (by Gustav Doree). Traffic in London at Ludgate Hill in 1872 (by Gustav Doree).

A gas traffic light designed by John Peake Knight, a railway engineer from Nottingham, appeared in London’s Westminster as early as 1868 (although the first tests go back to 1866); this light, meant to help contain the chaos that the area around the Westminster Bridge had become, had, however, the unfortunate tendency to explode, causing even more chaos on the roads and…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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