Said to be inspired by the sight of his car head lamps reflected in the eyes of a cat on a dark, foggy night, PERCY SHAW (1890-1976) invented the Catseye reflective road marker. Manufactured by the company founded by Shaw in his hometown of Halifax, Yorkshire, millions of Catseyes have been installed in roads all over the world.

The romantic version of the story of how the Yorkshire road mender Percy Shaw invented the Catseye is that one foggy night in 1933 he was driving back to his home in the Boothtown area of Halifax from nearby Bradford when he hit a perilous stretch of road with a sheer drop down a hillside to the right of the road.
Drivers like Shaw usually depended on the reflection of their car headlights in tram tracks to guide them along the road, but the tracks had been removed for repair. It was so dark and foggy that Shaw could not see where the road ended and the hillside began, until suddenly he spotted in the darkness the reflections of his car headlamps in the eyes of a cat sitting by the road. It is then that he is said to have hit upon the idea for replicating the reflection of a cat’s eyes to guide drivers along dark and dangerous roads.

From The Design Museum

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