GE 4 Way Signal

GE Fixed 4 Way signal
Off to its new home

I guess I have a thing for 4 way signals. This one was signal number 20 coming here in September 2019, and number 14 for four ways I have.

Definition: Four·teen/ˌfôrˈtēn,ˈfôrˌtēn/
1. equivalent to the product of seven and two; one more than thirteen, or six less than twenty.
2. signal hoarder meaning having a lot in one’s collection.

General Electric (GE) was a significant early traffic signal manufacturer. In 1923 GE bought Garret Morgan’s traffic signal patent. Morgan didn’t invent the first traffic signal but his design attracted GE’s attention.

GE’s Novalux and grooveback single face heads were quite popular. Their post WW-II one-piece 4-way had a distinctive look and was a practical signal. Their streamline single face model, introduced in 1954, was quite modern for its time. Early GE signals had holophane spiderweb pattern lenses. Later GE lenses had what we generally describe as a brick pattern. GE’s traffic signal product line was taken over by Econolite in 1957

This signal was picked up in Stamford, Connecticut. I took a day off from work and made the trek. It was a long drive but a nice day for it. Plus a day off work too. This one kind of found me. The gentleman who had it found my website. A really nice guy when I met him in person. He sent me a few photos of the signal. I thought it looked in great shape and he figured it would have a good home with the other gang here in Westmoreland, so we made a deal.

The story on this one was his dad had worked for the City of Stamford. There were 3 different broken lights like this one and he took the parts of the 3 and made 1 complete light. Complete it sure is. It’s in great shape.

I kind of like the color on it. It’s a bright green but was done very well when it was painted.


It has all 12 “cereal bowl” reflectors. They are glass with a silver mirror coating on the inside to “reflect” the light from the bulb.

Ge Cereal Bowl Reflectors

The mirror finish on all these looks like the day it came off the factory floor. No dust. No crud. No spiderwebs. Nothing. They’re in like new condition.


11 of the 12 GE brand brick lenses are there. Another plus for this signal. Again, they are all in great shape and a lot of care was taken over the years to keep them all there.


There was a downlight in this also. A white light would be in the bottom and point down into the middle of the intersection. Kind of a street light I guess you could say to illuminate the intersection. Definitely will have to have this hang someplace and get a downlight in it.

The hanger is all there. Guessing (I’m not that great at placing these as to what year they are from) it would be somewhere in the 1940’s because of the hanger, lenses and the reflectors.

On a happiness scale it gets an A+. For someone reaching out to me, figuring our that I would give it a good home, taking a day off to get it, and the overall condition of it I give it that high of a grade. So i’ll be on the hunt for my next one.

Thanks for reading!!

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Harrington Seaberg #2

Harrington Seaberg traffic signal
Another traffic light in the kitchen. Complete with magnetic letters on the fridge courtesy of my grandson.

This signal pretty much fell into my lap. Someone contacted me through the website. Showed me a couple pictures of the light. I was figuring I’d have to make the trek to Eastern Massachusetts to get it, but lucky for me, the owner was going fishing on Lake Ontario and would pass right by me, so we met up and I took the light for a ride to it’s new home. It joined the rest of the group in September 2019. It’s signal number 21 for me if you’re keeping score at home plus it’s Harrington number two, too!!

Harrington Seaberg 12 bulb traffic light
Harrington Seaberg Signal #2

A little bit about the company:

The Harrington-Seaberg Corporation was founded in Moline, IL in 1920 by Fred Harrington and Severin Seaberg. The original company was known as the Harrington Machine and Electric Company and they primarily manufactured fire alarm boxes.

In 1923 the company changed its name to the Harrington-Seaberg and produced a line of traffic signals and beacons. Harrington-Seaberg was bought out by the Gamewell Corporation in 1929. Gamewell also owned Eagle Signal, and Eagle distributed Harrington-Seaberg signals until it introduced the Eaglelux in the early 1930s.

Now a little bit about the signal. This signal came from Eastern Massachusetts. The guy who contacted me said he saw it in a friends barn over 20 years ago. He likes and restores old things so he got the light. Not sure how long it was in there but by the looks of it and the condition, probably was in there for quite a long time. It’s in really good shape for its age. Old lights were made to last and it could still serve some intersection well even today, except for maybe some new wiring on the outside. Like many of my lights, the wiring outside of the head is really rough, but still there for being close to 90 years old.

Harrington Seaberg 12 bulb traffic light
Max checking out the light for any cool smells that could be on it

It’s old. It’s a bit dirty on the outside. It’s got the off the street look that I love.

Harrington Seaberg 12 bulb traffic light

The wiring on the outside is a bit sketchy looking. Probably a bit of asbestos in the wiring. Cool huh? Still, for how old it is, not bad and it’s still there!


Lenses. Yes it has them. I couldn’t believe there were 11 Macbeth Evans lenses with it. There’s 4 STOP, 3 CAUTION and 4 GO lenses. Pretty neat to find a signal that still has them. One of the yellow lenses was replaced somewhere along the way. This lights brother, the Harrington Seaberg from Seneca Falls, NY has all 4 of it’s CAUTION lenses but only 1 each of the STOP and GO.


The glass reflectors are all in tip shop shape. A little dusty but thats about it. The original cork gaskets are all there too. They are old and dried out and falling apart, but they’re there. Not bad for an old signal really.


The inside of the light is in very good shape. It was remarkably clean on the inside. Not really any dirt or carbon build up like i’ve seen in my others. No spider webs or mouse nests either. Thats a plus.


Harrington Seaberg Signal Bottom
The bottom

The bottom of the light is there. Doesn’t look like it was ever smacked by a car like a few of my others were. Finding a new bottom is 99.999% impossible. Parts are pretty hard to come by.



On a happiness scale it gets an A+. For someone reaching out to me, delivering it for nothing and the overall condition of it I give it that high of a grade. Plus what I paid for it that also made for the high grade. So i’ll be on the hunt for my next one and checking this out to make sure the wiring will be ok and then wire it up to something and sit back and let it do it’s thing.

Thanks for reading!!

Backyard Span Version 3.0

Backyard Span

Took me a bit, but the backyard span version 3 is all set finally.

The old span served me well. 12 foot 6×6 posts. They were 2′ into the ground. 1 of them continually sagged. I had guy wire on it, but I think it was a soft spot in the yard that made it always bow. The other post was rock steady the entire time it was up.

span setup post

This time I upgraded. Using 6x6x16 foot tall posts. They are HEAVY. Got these last year. I planned on doing this upgrade so when I got my wood pellets delivered for the season, I got 2 of these. No other way for me to get these here on my own.

My trusty post hole digger helped me once again. I’ve had this forever. It’s dug a lot of holes. I got the 2 holes for the new posts down 3 feet this time. Only hit a few rocks. The ground here is mostly topsoil for about the first 12-18″ then there is nothing but clay. Fun stuff to dig through.

You can see the difference in the posts. The old ones were about 3 feet shorter sticking out of the ground than the new ones.

Both new posts up. I had to get them around the same distance apart so the existing wire would reach each post.

I pre-drilled the holes for the span about 12″ from the top of the post. Unfortunately, the hole were higher than I could reach with my ladder. Plus, there would be no way for me to lift the signal up to the span, hook it up and wire it with the ladder I have. So I had to drill new holes. They’re 11 feet up the pole.

And so it begins, once again. A ladder, some rope, a lot of sweat, no tears, and I was able to pull the lights up to the span and get them attached.

After a few hours in the sun, a quick nap since it was 90 degrees out, and waiting until the shade started coming to the back yard, I got the all up and wired.

My goal is the (with some help) get the original signal that was with the 2 on the ends back in the middle of this span. It was a setup from my childhood near my house. That 4 way signal is hanging in the basement. I cant get that down by myself and up onto the span without some help. So version 3.0 of the backyard will be a work in progress.

Crouse Hinds Type M Twins

Crouse Hinds Model M 4 Way Signals
Happily released from the basement they were locked away in

Yeah, I know. Not more signals again. The 1st of 2019. February 2019 will be their new birthday month, just like mine. A pair of rodded Crouse Hinds Type M Fixed 4 way signals. Thats a mouthful. I call them The M Twins instead. Probably made in the 1960’s I’d assume.

My traffigraphic memory remembers some of these in Utica too. South Street had a couple along with a few on Eagle Street also. Pretty sure they are all gone now from the streets of Utica. If there is any left, they’d be painted Utica Yellow too instead of being green like these.

How could I resist. I got tagged in a Facebook Marketplace post by my cousin. She’s seen the things i’ve posted about lights more than once obviously.

So I contact the guy. They were at a ridiculously low price. Asked him if his price was for them both. He said yep. Asked if he had all the visors for them. He said yep. He asked if I wanted them. I said Yep!

They were not too far north of me, so I took a leisurely drive to go get them. It is a nice drive north of me. Along the remnants of an old canal. Many of the old locks are there and they are beautiful. I like old things other than just traffic lights by the way.

A little history on the lights. This guy’s dad had them. He worked for National Grid (Niagara Mohawk back then) Not sure how he got them, but he did. Put them in his basement, and there they sat for the next 30 or so years. Thats all I really know about them. Not sure of where they actually came from.

I took a quick look at them. The visors are all there. A couple are a little bent which can be fixed. All the glass from all 24 lights is there along with all aluminum reflectors. Thats an oddity in itself. They are pretty dirty and have some corrosion but other than that, they were a great find.

The Marbelite Twins

The Twins awaiting a hug

The Marbelite Twins. I call them the twins because they are identical. A little bit about Marbelite Traffic Signals from Highway Divides:

The Marbelite Co. began making traffic control equipment in 1923. Marbelite was one of several traffic control manufacturing companies located in the greater New York City area during the first half of the 20th Century. As Marbelite grew, it absorbed the signal product lines (or the entirety) of such companies as Signal Service Corp. In the early years, Marbelite operated in conjunction with a sister company called Ruleta, which also made traffic signals. Ruleta may have been a separate company that was bought out by Marbelite. By the 1950’s, Marbelite had become one of the biggest producers of traffic control equipment in the country. The core of their business was in the NY Tri-State area, and for several decades, New York City was almost exclusively Marbelite-equipped.

I acquired the twins in August 2018. Yet again, these actually were picked up by my fellow collector friend Brian from a contact he has. He has a knack for finding stuff and usually lets me know when he does. He told me about them and I tortured my car one more time seeing how much stuff I can get into it.




Marbelite traffic signals stuffed into a Ford Escape
2 four way clusters stuffed into the back of my car
Marbelite traffic signal
My grandson approved. I started him early in his love for signals.

I really don’t know anything about these. They came from downstate New York. The glass lenses were all loose. They are all missing their gaskets for the lenses. But, a bunch of lens clips later, they’re in there now.

I also got the twins down into the basement. There’s a lot of stairs to navigate. Wish I was about 20 ears younger since that would make it easier.

Also, hanging this thing was a lot of fun too. It’s heavy. I did do it though. A little ingenuity and with the help of some straps and rope and a come along, It’s up.

Twin #1 in it’s new spot with the rest of the signals.
Marbelite Twin #1 along side the Lincoln Ave Utica Art Deco Signal

I hooked it up to the GS Controller and put the Lincoln Ave Crouse Hinds Art Deco next to it. They look good together.

Group Video

Got everyone to stand still for a few minutes to take a group video.

This is everything thats currently hooked up in the basement. Added one of the Marbelite twins this week. It was quite fun trying to hang it like the others. Accomplished it myself with the help of a come along and some ingenuity. Was fun trying to get it down the cellar stairs. The controller running it is the Crouse Hinds GS that was from Downtown Utica, NY I got this past summer. There’s a mix of electronic boards and the other mechanical controller running the rest of them.



As you can tell, 4 way signals are my favorite. There were literally 100’s of them in Utica, NY when I was growing up.