A Look at Downtown Atlanta

 

Why Trains and Underground?

Below are Photos of Atlanta Today...

 

 

Atlanta began as a busy railroad town with horse drawn wagons rumbling through the earthen streets. In the 1900's automobiles, masses of pedestrians and trolley cars dangerously crowed the roadways.

This made it very difficult to get around town.

The solution was to build viaducts over the existing streets, to carry the local traffic leaving room for the trains to move "Underground". This was a excellent idea. Now getting around town was hassle free.

Today we can give thanks to one of our Greatest Pioneers who made this all possible.

Garrett A. Morgan who Created The Three-Position Traffic Signal.


The first American-made automobiles were introduced to U.S. consumers shortly before the turn of the century. Ford Motor Company was founded in 1903 and with it American consumers began to discover the What's Ahead of the open road.

At that time, it was not uncommon for bicycles, animal-powered carts and motor vehicles to share the same thoroughfares with pedestrians. Accidents frequently occurred between the vehicles. After witnessing a collision between an automobile and a horse-drawn carriage, Morgan was convinced that something should be done to improve traffic safety.

While other inventors are reported to have experimented and even marketed their own three-position traffic signals, Garrett A. Morgan was the first to apply for and acquire a U.S. patent for such a device. The patent was granted on November 20, 1923. Morgan later had the technology patented in Great Britain and Canada as well.

Prior to Morgan's invention, most of the traffic signals in use featured only two-positions: Stop and Go. Manually operated, these two-position traffic signals were an improvement over no signal at all, but because they allowed no interval between the Stop and Go commands, collisions at busy intersections were common during the transition moving from one street to the other.

Another problem with the two-position traffic signals was the susceptibility to human error. Operator fatigue invariably resulted in erratic timing of the Stop and Go command changes, which confused both drivers and pedestrians. At night, when traffic officers were off duty, motorists frequently ignored the signals altogether.

The Morgan traffic signal was a T-shaped pole unit that featured three positions: Stop, Go and an all-directional stop position. The third position halted traffic in all directions before it allowed travel to resume on either of the intersection's perpendicular roads. This feature not only made it safer for motorists to pass through intersections, but also allowed pedestrians to cross more safety.

At night, or at other times when traffic was minimal, the Morgan signal could be positioned in a half-mast posture, alerting approaching motorists to proceed through the intersection with caution. The half-mast position had the same signaling effect as the flashing red and yellow lights of today's traffic signals.

Morgan's traffic management technology was used throughout North America until it was replaced by the red, yellow and green-light traffic signals currently used around the world. The inventor eventually sold the rights to his traffic signal to the General Electric Corporation for $40,000. Shortly before his death in 1963, Morgan was awarded a citation for the traffic signal by the U.S. Government.

Below is a few photos of the type of cars that were driven.

In 1915 The International Harvester Company was founded in 1907 in Chicago, Illinois.

This Model F, 1 ton truck was manufactured by the International Harvester Company. It is one of only 99 produced in 1915. The radiator is located behind the engine, giving the vehicle a distinct shovel-nose apperance. The tires are solid rubber. It is powered by a 1 cylinder, 19 1/2 horsepower engine that was started by the use of a hand crank.

 

The 1912 Reo

The 1912 Reo Driven by Zyra

 

For Only $750 The Reo Light Delivery Truck, Designed by R. E. Olds. Wheel base, 90 inches, Horsepower, 10 to 12. Capacity 1,500 pounds. Lenght behind seat, 6 feet. The 1912 Reo was produced by Reo Motor Car Company in Lansing, Michigan the Company was founded in 1908.

Early trucks such as this 1912 Reo were often referred to as "High Wheelers" because of their large wagon-like wheels. It is easy to understand why the first motorized vehicles were called horseless carriages when you study the apperance of trucks like this one. This Reo is propelled by a chain drive.

The History of Trains

The history of rail transport dates back nearly 500 years and includes systems with man or horse power and rails of wood or stone. Modern rail transport systems first appeared back in the 1820s. These systems, which made use of the steam locomotive, were the first practical forms of mechanized land transport, and they remained the primary form of mechanized land transport for the next 100 years.

 

 

Zyra's Train Ride

The Norfolk Southern Train is the same train that Zyra's Grandfather Drove as a Train Engineer for over 25 years

 

 

 

A Look at Downtown Atlanta Today...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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