traffic mushroom love

traffic mushroom

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  • The Chicago company that introduced the Milwaukee mushroom received the {International Traffic Officers) Association's "Award of Merit" in 1921. . . . it was sold as a superior variation on the silent policeman. To police officials a mushroom was a cast iron object the size and shape of a salad bowl, turned upside down and attached to the pavement. If struck in traffic it would jolt the driver without damaging device or vehicle.

    In 1915 a New York transit expert reported the use of a "mushroom-shaped base of iron" on the streets of Detroit, where it served to keep motorists out of "safety zones" (streetcar landings). Four years later a device manufacturer suggested replacing the bulky silent policeman with the low-profile mushroom in the center of intersections, and illuminating it for visibility. In August 1920 Milwaukee's street lighting department introduced the "Milwaukee mushroom type," which was hollow and perforated like a collander, but with larger holes. Inside was an electric light, visible through the holes to motorists. . . .

    The traffic mushroom's clear advantages over the silent policeman made it easy to sell. . . . A manufacturer of a variation on the traffic mushroom appealed to city officials facing "the expense of detailing traffic officers," . . . Unlike the silent policeman, however, mushrooms were "indestructible" and "accident-proof."

    Peter D. Norton, Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008), pp. 61-62

    Peter D. Norton, Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008), p.

    January 23, 2020