Humanities › History & Culture Cat's Eye Road Studs - Percy Shaw Catseyes are the road reflectors which help drivers see in the fog or at night. Share Flipboard Email Print Provided by Dreamstime History & Culture Inventions Famous Inventions Famous Inventors Patents & Trademarks Invention Timelines Computers & The Internet American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Mary Bellis Inventions Expert Mary Bellis covered inventions and inventors for ThoughtCo for 18 years. She is known for her independent films and documentaries, including one about Alexander Graham Bell. our editorial process Mary Bellis Updated January 17, 2018 Percy Shaw (1890-1976) was an English inventor best known for inventing cat's eye road studs in 1934. Cat's eyes 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 cat's eyes on British roads. Percy Shaw Manufacturer and inventor Percy Shaw was born on April 15, 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. Cat's Eye 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. In fact, he based the idea on another invention—reflective road signs that had been patented in 1927. Percy Shaw patented his Maltese cross-shaped road studs (U.K patent #436,290 and #457,536) and trademarked the name Cat's Eye. He formed the Reflecting Roadstuds Ltd to manufacture the new road studs. However, sales were sluggish until the Ministry of Transport mandated Catseyes for British roads.