How was the road divider-line invented?

| David Lewis | History

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Close your eyes. You’re in Michigan. The year is 1911. You are sitting in a car next to one Edward N. Haynes, chairman of the Wayne County, Michigan, Board of Roads. Ahead of you is a leaky milk wagon that leaves a white trail along the road. Then, suddenly, Haynes experiences a Eureka moment. You have just witnessed him inventing the first road surface marking. 

Until that moment it just did not exist and cars collided with each other all the time.

Bonus fact: Oddly, the idea to paint central road dividers on highways appeared separately – and apparently with no connection – in three different states (Michigan, California, and Oregon). Do I hear “Great minds think alike?”  

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And for all of the road’s true enthusiasts, here are some more facts:

Archaeology is abandoned with evidence for road construction. Roads were the veins of any and every ancient empire, Without it, there would be no economic commerce and economic viability. Without it, there would be no effective way to send troops fast enough to the far corners of the Empire. Indeed, the oldest road found so far is at Sweet Track causeway, England which was built around 3800 BC! 

Nonetheless, in ancient times it was better to use sea transport than roads, especially because of the difference between the capacity of a cart and a boat. 

During the Industrial Revolution roads technology took a quantum leap and began to include railways. Since the 20th century, roads have been used mainly for wheeled vehicles. In many countries, the road is still the most efficient way of transporting goods. This is perhaps about to change with the present drone revolution.

And for all of the road’s true enthusiasts, here are some more facts:

Archaeology is abandoned with evidence for road construction. Roads were the veins of any and every ancient empire, Without it, there would be no economic commerce and economic viability. Without it, there would be no effective way to send troops fast enough to the far corners of the Empire. Indeed, the oldest road found so far is at Sweet Track causeway, England which was built around 3800 BC! 

Nonetheless, in ancient times it was better to use sea transport than roads, especially because of the difference between the capacity of a cart and a boat. 

During the Industrial Revolution roads technology took a quantum leap and began to include railways. Since the 20th century, roads have been used mainly for wheeled vehicles. In many countries, the road is still the most efficient way of transporting goods. This is perhaps about to change with the present drone revolution.