Percy Shaw

From Academic Kids

A 23-year-old Englishman from Halifax in West Yorkshire, Percy Shaw, had a close call while when driving one dark foggy night he nearly drove off the road. His saviour was an unsuspecting cat who when turning to look at the car, innocently reflected the headlights back to young Percy who managed to take corrective action and remain on the tarmac. This gave Percy an idea, and mimicking this effect he produced a usable road safety device that was eventually taken on board by the then Junior Transport Minister James Callaghan in 1947. Such a success was the invention of the "cat's eye" that in 1965 he was rewarded with an OBE.

Curiously, though his invention was named cat's eyes, Reflecting Roadstuds was the company he formed to manufacture them. They are now replaced on many roads by reflective plastic.

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