Saturday, 3 April 2010

Cats eyes

We have all seen them, some of us may have had our lives saved by them. The Cats eye is a simple mechanism. Designed in the thirties these units consisted of a cast Iron base, a rubber insert and 4 reflective lenses. The cast iron base protected the rubber insert from the rigors of traffic while still allowing the rubber to be depressed performing a cleaning action on the lenses. Absolute genius. There were millions of them sunk into the roads all over the country. Provided they were installed correctly they would last a lifetime.







The modern equivalent is this is . . .


. . . a cheap plastic reflector stuck on the surface. Lifetime less than a year as can be seen from the fragment below.DSCF3339 Of the ten or so reflectors installed on the Heyford bridge last year only the one above remains. The rest have have been taken, in pieces, by the road sweeper. I think that’s called progress.

Percy Shaw would be turning in his grave.

1 comment:

Janys said...

You would probably find it amusing to see what intelligent use is made of those very few, rare, and far between cats' eyes used over here in Italy. For some reason the powers that be have decided to install them only where the streets have full town lighting.