John Van Nostrand

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

John Van Nostrand was born in Newark, New Jersey back in 1872. Sorry, but I don’t have any information about him until he started working for Thomas Edison. He attended Rutgers University obtaining a B.S. in chemistry in 1894.

One of his major contributions was the development of the “classifier”. It’s a machine which is used for the separation and chemical treatment of fine solids suspended in liquid. You can find his invention which is used for the treatment of sewage and water purification. While his invention has been improved the basic concept is still in use to this day.

Another idea came to him in the early 1950’s. He postulated that at night when it was raining, snowing or fog impaired one’s vision it was due to the people using the white lines painted in the middle of the highways for guidance. He convinced the engineers in Westchester County, New York to test his theory and it worked. So, the next time you are driving and wondering who came up with the idea to paint the white lines along the outside shoulders of the highway, now you know it as John Van Nostrand Dorr.

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Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi James...of course, someone had to have been behind that great idea... just don't know why it never occurred to me to think about who it might have been until I read your post!

Oct 07, 2019 02:48 AM #1
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray John surely had a thought process that to this day continues to save lives on the roadways.... and his genius is never mentioned.

Oct 07, 2019 03:38 AM #2
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

It used to be a pain to get the paint off the damn car and like everything else the government does not do it enough today!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Oct 07, 2019 04:38 AM #3
Donald Urschalitz
Lubeck Realty Group - Jupiter, FL
P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County

Now that is something that all of us have been thankful for.

Oct 07, 2019 04:49 AM #4
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - well,  that was an important safety idea.  Amazing mind.  

Oct 07, 2019 05:30 AM #5
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Never thought about whose idea it was, but spent some foggy evenings dependent on those lines. Enjoy your day!

Oct 07, 2019 05:34 AM #6
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Such a practical man, those are both things that are greatly important in today's world.

Oct 07, 2019 06:37 AM #7
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning again James. This is amazing and I learned a lot. Makes sense. TY

Oct 07, 2019 06:57 AM #8
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray - I thought you were going to tell us that he came up with the yellow color for the middle of the road.  But the sidelines was also a genius move. Now I am curious who came up with the yellow color and also the divits on the side to let you know you are at the edge of the road!

Oct 07, 2019 07:46 AM #9
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello James,  having the solid lines on the side of the road is great unless you live in a area that gets lots of snow.


Oct 07, 2019 08:41 AM #10
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

wow James- the white lines idea is one that makes you slap your head and wonder why someone didn't think of that before. 

Oct 07, 2019 09:00 AM #11
Krystin Mitchell, CPA CFE
KLSM CPA Firm, PLLC - Houston, TX
I help clients resolve IRS tax matters

Wow James,

I never thought about who came up with this idea. I'm very grateful for Mr. Nostrand.


Oct 07, 2019 09:25 AM #12
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Well I learned something else new today - he was a pretty savvy guy.

Now about those raised bumps on many roads that mark the lanes - Bott's Dots


Oct 07, 2019 11:19 AM #13
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Very clever and simple solution, Mr Norstrand came up with.  Wishing you a great week.  A

Oct 07, 2019 01:06 PM #14
Michelle Cherie CarrCrowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

A big thank you to John Van Nostrand Dorr for the idea to paint the white lines along the outside shoulders of the highways.

Oct 07, 2019 02:18 PM #15
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi James,  Thanks for sharing, now I know who to thank for those white lines, which I use quite often while driving at night. 

Oct 07, 2019 07:01 PM #16
faye schubert
Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

Oh yes, we so depend on those lines to see in a pouring rain or fog. Also ingenious was the "rumble strips" on the side of the road.

Oct 11, 2019 07:11 AM #17
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