The Colors Most Readily Distinguished.

Manufacturer and Builder 1, 1870

Experiments made to ascertain what colors are most quickly and easily perceived by the eye, seem to show that bright yellow is the color most easily distinguished, and violet and red are the least readily recognized. After yellow, blue is the most quickly seen. These experiments may be of some value in improving our system of railway signaling. The colors most readily distinguishable at the greatest distance are obviously the best to employ for signals. Now, according to these experiments, red comes last, or last but one, and green stands but just before it. Bright yellow and blue, the colors most easily recognized, would therefore seem to be preferable for signal-lights. In connection with this, we may mention an interesting fact, but one of no practical importance further than showing that the perceptions of the lowest animals seem to accord with our own. When a basin of water containing some of those active little animals, the water-fleas, is surrounded with blackened paper, the animals sink into inactivity, and when a strong beam of light is sent through a hole in the paper, they spring at once into activity, and collect in the illuminated part of the water. Further than this, if a spectrum be projected through a slit in the paper, the greater number of animals collect in that part of the water illuminated by the orange yellow rays, and the fewest in the line of the violet, which would seem to indicate that they too most readily perceive yellow light.

- Mechanics' Magazine

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