It was a dark and foggy night…
and I was a teenager.
My dad was driving the two us on the local interstate highway.
And I was impressed with how bright the newly-installed car lane markers were. “Much better than paint. Besides, who decided lane dividers should be white paint… seems pretty silly in areas where it snows, like here in the Midwest!”
The curves of the lanes were now easy to spot.
And almost elegant in their glistening arcs, eventually fading out of view in the thickening fog.
My dad commented, “Yes, I’m so glad we finally have these reflectors! I saw them on the roads many years ago when I was traveling in Scotland. Did you know the guy who invented them earns about a penny per reflector?”
I was in disbelief. “ONLY a penny? Geez, it sounds like he got ripped off.”
“But LYnn, start counting them.”
So I began counting.
Many outlining the lane we were driving in. And then multiplying by 3 to include the other lanes. Multiplying again to include the lanes heading the opposite direction… and how many miles long is this highway?
Quickly I understood– the huge numbers in use, not only in our state but throughout other major cities in the USA, let alone the other countries.
That “Reflector Guy” was RICH!
It got me thinking: “What if I could invent something and get paid a few pennies each … from millions of uses?”