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SigAlerts Inventor Dead at 95

SigAlerts Inventor Dead at 95

SigAlerts inventor Loyd Sigmon has died. The 95-year-old had Parkinson’s disease, according to the Associated Press. In 1955, he invented a system to allow Los Angeles police to issue emergency warnings to radio stations when he worked for KMPC. He wanted to increase ratings by providing listeners with traffic information.
His SigAlert device used a tape recorder and shortwave radio receiver that allowed a police dispatcher to activate it using a special tone, then record a message that could be broadcast. At the station, a red light and occasionally a buzzer alerted the engineer that a message was ready.
According to AP, the first such alert ran in 1955 to urge medical personnel to respond to a train derailment.
Now, the California Highway Patrol handles SigAlerts. The alerts are now computerized.