Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/signaltraffic/www/blog/wp-includes/cache.php on line 36

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/signaltraffic/www/blog/wp-includes/query.php on line 15

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/signaltraffic/www/blog/wp-includes/theme.php on line 505
Caution Optional


An unspeakable crime!!!


“Tell ME to stop, will you?! TAKE THAT!”

But the signals wait silently, biding their time, lulling us into a false sense of security. Waiting for the perfect moment to spring to action and attack!!

Now they are becoming more brazen…

Mr. Clean’s first ride:

And here’s what a well used one looks like:

See the entire set at The Ultimate Car Page gallery (via Dinosaurs and Robots).

These shots are from the Pebble Beach Councours d’Elegance car show. Absolutely mind blowingly beautiful restorations of some amazing early automobiles. From a time when a trip to town was an event and you didn’t always make it there.

(obligatory rationalization for inclusion in this blog: these cars made traffic lights and road signs necessary) :-)

We here at are always busy drinking and carousing cataloging, scanning, researching, investigating and generally scouring the earth for worthy bits of signal ephemera. Here’s a recent picture of our staff hard at work:

Okay, truth be told that may not exactly be a recent picture. Okay, it’s actually from the LOC by way of Shorpy. But we are always on the lookout for items of interest, so please do feel free to contact us with your suggestions.

Now, a picture of Ms. SignalTraffic at her day job (need the greenbacks to support my signal habit):

And of course the obligatory picture of a midget directing traffic).
LOC: A midget directing traffic

As is the way of things, you sometimes need some fresh perspective to see what’s right in front of you. Over my life I’ve probably spent literally hundreds of hours stuck in tunnel traffic. It’s part of doing business in the city unfortunately. What I had never noticed before yesterday though was that the tunnel approaches are teeming with Crouse Hinds Art Decos! The fresh perspective being that this is the first time I was stuck in tunnel traffic with my kids (we were playing I spy).

Lincoln Tunnel CH AD

Fortunately {!!} I was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for nearly an hour on the Lincoln Tunnel Expressway (you get on right under the highline) yesterday and was able to snap a close-up of one of the CH ADs. I only noticed them at the 35th & 38th St. overpasses, but they’re probably elsewhere as well.

The 38th St. CH ADs are R/Y/G so do the 35th St. units qualify as the last of the NYC Red/Green signals? I’m guessing probably not since they’re on a tunnel approach and were intended for lane control.

View Larger Map

So keep your eyes open (and cameras handy) out there folks!

Okay, Will Bird’s comment made me take a closer look and he’s absolutely correct, those are 12 inchers. My ‘proof’ is circled in this blow up pic:


I noticed quite a few things of interest in this G+W Eagle Signals company advertisement from 1973:

1973 G+W Eagle Ad

I noticed an avocado green Ford T-bird.
I noticed a baby blue 1968 Dodge Charger R/T.
I noticed three VW bugs.
I noticed the 8-8-12 Econolite short groove/bullseye signal (of course I’m ASSuming it’s a short groove).
I noticed the exposed tube neon ped (once more ASSuming it’s an Econolite).
I noticed the Cali style wooden white sign post (with lower interred section coated in creosote) installed in asphalt in between lanes of traffic.

I noticed all that and then saw this:
1973 gas prices. This photo is from immediately before the 1973 gas crisis and prices have been rising dramatically ever since…

Even if you’re not familiar with the Municipal Street Sign Company of Brooklyn, NY, if you’ve ever visited NYC, you’ve most likely laid eyes upon some of their handiwork at one corner or another.

They were also responsible for some of the better known symbols of early 19th century NYC. Examples of which can be seen here in a patent by Mr. Abraham Sprung for the classic NYC blue humpback porcelain signs and over at Forgotten-NY.

They were of course gobbled up by Marbelite Signal Co. in the mid to late thirties and had moved out of Brooklyn into Manhattan sometime prior to 1926 so this set of playing cards I was able to pick up recently must come from before then. I’m not sure if the skyline depicted on the back of the playing cards is supposed to represent the Manhattan skyline or if it’s supposed to be some generic construct. But the similarity to a pre Empire State and Chrysler building skyline is quite striking.

I would have expected this type of advertising from Joseph Horni instead of from someone named Abraham… :-)


The Right To Drive Right

Just came across this great scan of a 1937 Detroit driver’s manual. You can see all 84 pages of it here: The Right To Drive Right. It’s hosted by, a site with a vast wealth of great highway information, data and history. Be sure to check out the rest of the site after you’ve seen the driver’s manual.
A sample page from the manual

1950 NOS Schwinn?

Nope, this post has little to do with traffic signals or signs (aside from the cyclist’s responsibility of following the laws of the road), but I’m always a sucker for the “old low mileage classic in a barn” story and this is one of them.

Check it out at: Dinosaur and Robots 1950 Schwinn in a box

DNR 1950 Schwinn Box

More local signal spotting

Now I don’t know if this bumper crop of signal spottage was simply serendipity or was due to my signal frame of mind (was driving out to pick up a mystery signal artifact) and heightened signalsense. Either way I came across a couple of tasty pieces within a few miles of my driveway that I hadn’t seen before.

While I had previously noticed that this was a Marb controller when I had passed by it before on numerous occasions, I never had a camera with me and certainly didn’t notice it was one of the older models.
And I definitely never before noticed the sexy little octagonal pole holding up that two way cluster. Hubba hubba!!

Continue Reading »

Sure Stop Flapper

Lucked out recently and was able to pick up this rare STOP sign for my collection. It’s called a flapper because it was designed to be mounted on the roadbed and be run over by the vehicles it was indicating. As the tire came off the sign, it would flap back to its ready position. As you can imagine it was subjected to a great deal of abuse which makes finding this one in such great shape such a great bit of luck. :-)
Sure Stop Flapper Sign
Sure Stop advert p1 1933
Sure Stop advert p2 1933

Now if I could just find an original Essco Mushroom…

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »