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!!

Utica/Rome Signal Meet 2019

Had some fellow signal collectors up. We went on the hunt for cool signals and any other old stuff we could find. Was a really good time! Just a start. I’ll be adding more soon.

Downtown Utica, NY.
These beautiful old buildings will soon be bulldozed in the name of “progress” (it’s a joke) to build a hospital downtown. 2 blocks of downtown will see the wrecking ball soon. Very sad.

Railroad Street Bridge, Rome, NY.
Beautiful bridge built in 1900. Thankfully the City of Rome will do some rehab on it vs tearing it down.

Higginsville Road Bridge

This bridge has been closes for about 8 years now. The town got a grant to replace it. It was a nice bridge but structurally unsound. Here’s the Bridgehunter page about it.

Lock 20 Barge Canal, Marcy NY

Haven’t been to one of these since I was a kid. We had a great time there and the lock master was a cool guy showing us all kinds of stuff.

Herkimer Road, Utica, NY

Herkimer, New York.

Some real classics here. Command lenses, signals from the 1930’s +/-

Frankfort, NY

Rome, NY

Tipperary Hill & Syracuse, NY

Crouse Hinds Porthole Signal

Picked up another new signal. Been a few months. This one joined the gang in May 2019. This one was on my bucket list for a long time. It’s a Crouse Hinds Type T or Porthole Signal. It was being sold by someone less than 30 minutes away so that was a great plus.

A little bit of a description of the signal:
Crouse-Hinds’ first known signal design, the Type T used porthole doors, where instead of the hinges seen today, each door was actually a round lens frame with a visor screwed on and tabs for thumb screws. The thumb screws could be loosened, and the frame would come away from the signal body to allow access to the bulb, reflector, and lens tabs. The earlier signal bodies were solid housings instead of sections used in later models. This meant the amount of indications couldn’t be changed after production. Later Type T models used sectioned sides.

The signal it’s self is in pretty amazing shape. Produced probably in the mid to late 1920’s to early 1930’s. I always ask the seller if there was any history of it they can tell me about.

The seller got it from someone in Forestport, NY. Thats not too far from Utica/Rome where I am. The original owner had it for 30+ years in storage and was going to hang it up at some point and never did.

From the was the visors are on this with the long tunnel yellows, I really think it could be from Utica, NY. Utica had a thing for doing this on their signals. Many of them had or still have the different configuration on the yellows. I do remember at least 6 or so Porthole signals installed in Utica up until the late 1990’s. I’d rattle off the intersections they were at, but that would make me look a bit odd I guess lol.

Crouse Hinds Porthole Signal

This Porthole above was at the corner of Genesee Street and Emerson Ave in Utica. Notice the light has the same look with the visors as the light I got.

Overall the signal is in pretty amazing shape. I have a feeling it was stored for more than the 30 years. The wiring inside is original and looks to be in wonderful shape.

The glass reflectors aren’t pitted and really aren’t dirty either. Wherever this thing was stored it must have been a dry cool place for the shape it’s in.

The Command Lenses are in pretty good shape also. They are called “command” lenses since the have either STOP, CAUTION or GO embossed into them. These were on most of the early Crouse Hinds signals. 1 of the GO is missing and 1 is cracked. 1 of the STOP lenses is cracked and half of it is missing. I do have some in another signal that can fill the void.

Just like the other signals, I’ll end up keeping it as is. For it’s age, it is in amazing condition. I’ll have to test the wiring and replace what is needed. Once I figure out how it was wired also. There’s 8 wires coming out of it. Normally for a 12 light signal there is 7. The 6 hot wires and 1 common ground. So I figure i’ll blow a few fuses and maybe get a small shock or 2 while I figure it out.

I’ve got another old Crouse Hinds GS controller from downtown Utica, NY that was from this intersection that I can get running and it would look great with this old beauty of a signal.

After a few weeks of it sitting around, I decided to get to work on it. Took all the lenses and visors off. It wasn’t too much effort

Another traffic light in the kitchen. Good thing I removed the island a few years ago

It really didn’t take much work. I had to cut off about 10″ of the existing wiring that was visible outside the hanger. It was frayed from age. On the indide, you’d never know they light was born around 90 years or so ago. The wiring is in great shape.

Frayed wires in the hanger
Inside wiring

I ended up hooking it up to the PCN Controller from Utica, NY I got last year. Amazingly I didnt get shocked and hooked it up correctly the first time.

All wired up and back functioning once again.

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.

My First Light

Finally!

My sister is the keeper of old family photos. She’s scanned a bunch and I told her I wanted to find a photo of the first light I got. She finally found it and I owe her lunch for it too as I had promised.

My first traffic signal. Circa 1967??
Thats me. Guess I was excited to get a shirt lol. Wonder what it said on the front??
My light in the background.

I’ve always remembered this thing but finally can prove I’ve had a liking of traffic lights since I was a kid. I’m thinking I was maybe 6 or so in this photo. So believe it or not, that’s 50 years ago. I assume this was Christmas 1967. Note the stylish black and white maybe 19″ console tv. Times were sure good then I guess haha.

I always thought the light was taller. But I was small so it probably wasn’t that tall. It was a wood box my Uncle in Syracuse made. He was electrically inclined. It had 3 holes on the front for each of the lenses. They were plastic I think and each were the correct color or red, yellow and green. They were also Command Lenses. Early traffic signals lenses had STOP, CAUTION or GO cast into the glass and usually painted black for better viability. The real commands now a days are Rarer than Rare. They’ll got for upwards of $125+ a pop if you are lucky enough to find someone willing to sell one.

I do remember there were 3 pull chains on the back. One for each light. And there was a flasher disc in the yellow signal so it could flash too. Wonder how many 1000’s of times I turned them off and on? I did get knocked on my butt getting shocked when I was fooling around with it once. Just like I did with mine at home recently. My arm hurt for 2 weeks after getting a nice zap.

Assume I had made some noise about liking signals back then to get this for Christmas. Would have been cool to have it all these years to give to one of my grandkids, but I guess they get the real thing from me now instead providing their parents cave in at some point and let me give them one. In the mean time, they can come to papa’s and play with them.

The Canajoharie Darley

The Canajoharie New York Darley traffic light is finally back in New York. This signal came down in 2013 I believe. A fellow collector got it and moved if to Ohio. In late November 2018, it came back home to New York again.

It was another one of those “I’VE GOT TO HAVE THAT” signals. I didn’t realize someone I knew who is a member of some of the same signal groups (yes, thats a thing) had this light. So my impulsive self made the deal and then figured out how to get it here. UShip once again came though with a couple of bumps along the way, but it’s here. 

It’s quite the different signal. It was right down the street from Canajoharie New York’s “dummy” light. That light sits in the middle of an intersection. This one by my best guess was probably installed sometime in the 1930’s I would assume. It is a W.S. Darley traffic signal and they were produced in that era. I have another Darley signal. Plus another thats just for parts and pieces.

Downtown Canajoharie New York
The signal when it was installed in “downtown” Canajoharie, NY

This signal was attached to 2 different building and was hung that way. I believe also, that this and the signal down the street were both controlled by the same controller too. I’d have to do a bit of investigating (ask some fellow collectors) if that was actually the case.

It was an odd looking signal. 10 of the 12 Darley visors had long tunnel type visors bolted onto them. Not sure if there was some kind of viability issues so I dont know why they would have added all the tunnels to this light. And why 2 of the yellows didnt have them is a mystery.

I wired this up to my Utica, NY GS controller from the 1940’s, had to add a few light bulbs that were missing and BINGO! All the bulbs worked and it was cycling just like it did for 50+ years at least.

A bunch of the visors dont come off at the moment. The bolts are really rusted on the latches. Thankfully all the bulbs worked except for the missing ones which took me a while to get those off to add the bulbs.

A few of the visors are broken and missing a latch. Hey, it’s old, and that happens I guess.

What i’ll do with this, probably leave it like this. I like them in off the street condition. I’ll replace the 69 watt clear bulbs with some LEDs providing I can get to all the bulbs. And i will probably let the Utica GS controller do it’s thing and run this light. 

Here’s a video of this light and the controller playing nice with each other. I just love the sloppiness of the controller and the occasional dark periods when it is changing phases. Classic old mechanical controller. 

Crouse Hinds PCN-100 Controller

More Utica, NY stuff I picked up in November 2018. I got parts and pieces from a local intersection. The controller was up on Lincoln Ave Utica, NY in front of Holy Trinity Church since some time in the 60’s I think and there was also a Crouse Hinds Art Deco single signal I got. That’s from probably the 1940’s. Was green and painted yellow along the way.

Freshly picked up. The PCN-100 controller, Art Deco signal and part of a 4 way type M cluster. That was all that was left. There was more but it got scrapped ((sad eyes))


Here was the gang in the wild. The M in the center and the Deco off to the right.
The controller isn’t in this shot.

I’m always happy when I can get some of Utica’s old stuff. I passed this intersection 100’s of times and it all came down in late 2016 or early 2017 when the reconstruction of the North South Arterial was completed. 

It was also another one of Utica’s weird intersections. Notice the Deco with the red on the bottom. It flashed red for most of the time the other sides had the green light. Another one of Utica, 5 way type intersections.

The Deco was pretty beat up. Does have the original glass in the yellow with remnants of some of it’s original cloth covered wiring still there. It’s pretty beat up. But, it’s older than me, seen a lot in it’s lifetime, and I’m happy to give it a new home.

Part of the Crouse Hinds Type M
The Deco. It’s in rough shape.

And the prize of the bunch. Another one of Utica’s Mechanical Controllers. There were 100’s in Utica. Happily functioning up until most came done in 2016 and 2017. They have pretty much all been replaced by the new fancy electronic controllers.

I love these things. Still works just fine. The same way it did in the 1960’s when it was put up. So now this is number 4. 

Here’s a quick video of it cycling in both signal mode and flash mode. Still works just fine. Didn’t have to do anything to it. It could probably cycle for another 30 years of so.

I’m hopefully to be adding more old signals soon. Have something in the works that i’m pretty excited about. Fingers are crossed to rescue some more old signals from there area.

Crouse Hinds GS Controller

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Got this beauty from Utica’s past. A Crouse Hinds GS Controller. There were 2 intersections left in downtown that still had these. Both were green. This was from Lafayette & Washington Streets. This intersection has been inoperable since the early 1990’s.¬† A building was built in the area and there was no need for the south side of this intersection anymore. This came down in 2017 after resting on the pole for close to 20 years unused.

Controller Location

controller

This controller is from the 1940’s and graciously ran for close to 50 years. I haven’t fired it up just yet. It was left outdoors for a while and there was some water that had gotten inside. It really is in pretty great shape. There was a twin to this one removed from service in 2017 also. I’m going to acquire that one also to either have as parts to make 1 controller or use them both.

I did get the twin to this one. I have no electrical skills at all. So it took some fiddling around, but after a bit I got it functioning again. Hard to imagine this controller cycled along without a care in the world for over 60 years in Downtown Utica. It was meant to last and it did last!!

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Here is a video of it running once again.

Rome August 2018

Visited Rome with some signal enthusiasts in August. There are some nice lights still up in Rome. Plus, they take very good care of them and they have all been repainted over the years.

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West Thomas Street and North George Street. A Crouse Hinds Art Deco signal with a wagon wheel on the bottom. This Marbelite controller looks to be in good shape. We;re not sure what is inside because there was no noise coming from it.


 

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North Doxtator Street and West Liberty Street. Another Marbelite Controller. Still a mechanical one since you can hear the cams moving inside. A nicely taken care of Crouse Hinds D/DT Fixed 4 way signal is at this intersection also.

Utica Signal Hunt August 2018

Went out with a group of signal enthusiasts on the hunt for some old signals. I was aware of their locations, some I haven’t seen in a few years. It was good to see some old stuff still up!!

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Varick Street & Columbia Street, Utica, NY. The pedestal bases are the only ones surviving in Utica. There were 2 other intersections that I remember having these up until the mid 1980’s.

 


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Whitesboro Street and Court Street, Utica NY. 2 of the sides on the 4 way cluster act as pedestrian signals. This intersection is near the old Utica Psychiatric Center. It is a timed intersection without any pedestrian detection.

Also, another old Utica “Snow Emergency” signal. These would flash when there was a snow emergency in Utica. Meant, no parking on any city streets. They were controlled by either the central fire station or a neighboring fire house. There is a firehouse approx 1/2 mile away. These lights haven’t worked in over 20 years.


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Oneida Street at Master Garden Road & Holland Ave. Pretty odd intersection and signal. 2 of the 3 sides on this cluster flash red in place of solid green. There are 2 other roads at this intersection that have a stop sign so you need to look and see if they are coming through the intersection when you have the flashing red.

Here’s a video of it also.


38516077_10211572172172674_9179160983539548160_n¬†Some rare 12″ Crouse Hinds Art Deco signals at Oneida Street and Higby Road. They are still in beautiful shape. Have been here for close to 50 years. They still have the yellow glass lenses but everything else are LEDs.


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This odd signal at Bleecker Street and Wetmore Street in Utica has been here forever. There used to be a fire house (Station 6) here and I guess it was to give you a heads up if the fire truck was enroute to a call. How this has survived so long is a mystery. It looks like it was just shoved into the red head. there is a LED in there now also.