Traffic cones, which also have many other names, are cone shaped markers used primarily to redirect traffic in a safe manner. They are used to create separation or merge lanes during construction although more permanent markers are used if the diversion is to stay in place for a long period of time.
Charles P. Rudebaker invented the traffic cone in 1914. His version was made of concrete although now the cones are usually made of a brightly-colored thermoplastic or rubber. The cones are also used often where children are playing and they come with retro-reflective sleeves to increase visibility at night.
The cones are designed to be highly visible and easily movable and come in various sizes and colors. Typically, however, they are “safety” orange. In case sturdier barriers are needed there are traffic barrels that are about the size of a 55 gallon drum. In some states they use bollards, large fluorescent orange posts with reflective sleeves and a heavy rubber base, instead of traffic barrels. In Canada they are referred to as pylons.
Cones are also used indoors to mark a bathroom being out of order or a slippery floor. Many time traffic cones are stolen due to them being easily portable and unguarded.