AT A GLANCE:
Police Officer William L. Potts of Detroit, Michigan, decided to do something about the problem caused by the ever increasing number of automobiles on the streets. What he had in mind was figuring out a way to adapt railroad signals for street use. Potts used red, amber, and green railroad lights and about thirty-seven dollars worth of wire and electrical controls to make the world’s first 4-way three color traffic light. It was installed in 1920 on the corner of Woodward and Michigan Avenues in Detroit. Within a year, Detroit had installed a total of fifteen of the new automatic lights.
The Curtiss Candy Company has traditionally claimed that theBaby Ruth candy bar was named after President Grover Cleveland's daughter, Ruth Cleveland. Skeptics, however, are quick to point out that not only did Ruth Cleveland die 16 years before the introduction of the Baby Ruth bar, but the company had originally negotiated a failed endorsement deal with legendary baseball player Babe Ruth. Some have suggested that secretly naming the candy bar after Ruth was a way to tie him to their product without paying any royalties. Always a shrewd advertiser, company founder Otto Schnering chartered a plane in 1923 to drop thousands of Baby Ruth bars over the city of Pittsburgh -- each with its own mini parachute. His marketing plan must have worked -- Baby Ruth has gone on to become a top confectionary brand. Today, the Baby Ruth bar is owned by Nestlé.