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Catseye Road Stud
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Catseye Road Studs - Percy Shaw 18901976

From Mary Bellis,
Your Guide to Inventors.
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Catseyes are the road reflectors which help drivers see in the fog or at night.

In 1934, Percy Shaw patented Catseye road studs. Catseyes are the road reflectors which help drivers see the road in the fog or at night. In 1947, British, Labor Junior Transport Minister Jim Callaghan introduced catseyes on British roads.

Percy Shaw

Manufacturer and inventor, Percy Shaw was born on 15 April 1890 in Halifax, England. After attending the Boothtown boarding school, Percy Shaw began working as a laborer at a blanket mill at the age of thirteen, however, he studied shorthand and bookkeeping at night school. He started a repair business with his father fixing rollers, which evolved into a path and driveway building business. He designed a miniature motorized roller to aid him in building driveways and paths.

Catseye Road Studs

The area in which Percy Shaw lived was prone to fog and the local roads were often hazardous for motorists. Shaw decided to invent reflecting studs that would be set into the surface of unlit roads. He was inspired by the reflection of car headlights in road signs.

Percy Shaw patented his Maltese cross-shaped road studs (U.K patent #436,290 and #457,536) and trademarked the name Catseye. He formed the Reflecting Roadstuds Ltd to manufacture the new Catseye road studs, however, sales were sluggish until the Ministry of Transport mandated Catseyes for British roads.

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