Darren's Collection

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Eagle 3-aspect head and neon pedestrian signal - Sighspotters Collection.

No, it probably won't come as any surprise to learn  that somebody responsible for a web site about road signs and traffic lights also has a collection of them. Like many collections, it started out quite innocently with the acquisition of one sign. And then it gradually began to grow. I'd wanted a traffic light since I was a kid. And I finally managed to get one some years ago on eBay. Now I have several of them. Old and new.

The images below are representative of the signs and traffic lights I've acquired. More photos may be added later. At present I have around 70 road signs (including railway crossing signs and signals) and about 20 traffic lights (some are not complete, so it is hard to know whether to include them).

It is important to say that, although I'd love to obtain some of the old signs I see still in use, I don't take them - except in picture form. A few times I've asked the appropriate authority and on one occasion they delivered the requested sign to me. The ones in my collection are mostly from eBay, collectibles shops, sign manufacturers and from road authorities.

Page updated 23/08/2011

Road Signs and Traffic Lights

Although not a real road sign, this was probably the first one I obtained. It is a card sign, about 1/4 full size. It was one of a series made in the late 70s / early 80s by Pacific Merchandising. I remember schools used to have them. And that is where this one came from at the big clean up of the classrooms at the end of the school year.
My first real road sign was this old cloth sign on Masonite. These were common in Victoria before being replaced by signs with the skidding car symbols.
This one came from a demolition site. Not sure why it was there.
This 75km/h speed limit sign is now quite rare. Only Victoria had 75 signs, but they were replaced with 70 or 80 signs to bring us in line with other states. Somehow I think we were better off in those days as there were only 60, 75, 80 and 100 speed limits to worry about. Not the current situation where you can travel down a road and be confronted with several different limits in a very short distance.
And here is what was usually seen on the reverse side of the 75 signs. A Derestriction sign. This meant that the state limit applied (was 100km/h in Victoria until 110km/h was introduced on most freeways. Later dropped and then reintroduced on selected rural freeways only.
Sign assortment. Some of my signs pose for a group photo.  :)
These came from various sources including collectibles shops, eBay and in the case of the really old Gravel Surface sign, the local shire council.
As new STOP / SLOW paddles. One of these came in quite handy one morning when I needed to direct trucks due to a power line having been hit out the front of the shop.
State route 195 shield. SR195 was the Omeo Hwy (now B500, Great Alpine Road).
Whilst I am old enough to remember speed limits in Miles Per Hour, I don't ever recall seeing these END XX SPEED signs in use. Again, this goes back to a simpler time when there was basically a 60MPH speed limit on the open road and 35MPH in built up areas. So if you saw an END 35 SPEED, it wasn't too difficult to work out what the new limit was.
More signs lining up for a photo. Mostly eBay finds.
Old and new signs. Note the different sizes of Give Way signs. The white border on the newer one gives it a larger overall size. Both are the smallest variety available.
Yet another assortment. This one including a traffic light.
Two KEEP LEFT signs. Notice that they are not identical, being from different manufacturers.
T junction warning sign.
Ramsay St. No, I'm not a Neighbours fan. Just coincidence that this was the sign I managed to obtain. I'd have preferred RAYEL Wy, or even RAIL Rd. Perhaps FREE Wy or STATION St would've done too.  :)

Since sold to a Neighbours fan in the UK. :)

Roundabout warning sign.
Roundabout regulatory sign.
Pedestrian crossing regulatory sign. Many Australian road signs used to be round with black text (or symbol) on a yellow background. For some reason, these signs along with the Safety Zone signs at tram stops have survived in this form when all others were replaced by diamond warning signs or rectangular regulatory signs in the 1950s.
This 1960s 300mm lens Eagle traffic light was the first one I managed to obtain. Silly me. I thought one was all I'd ever have. It was an eBay find and was ex-dance venue judging by the electronics that came with it. The Eagle text pedestrian signal came later - after the second traffic light seen facing to the right. It is a 200mm lens AWA signal. An ATS pedestrian signal (red man / green man type) is behind it. All four operate realistically using a US made Lights to Go controller, made for traffic signal collectors in the USA. They are able to provide 240v versions to special order.
The 200mm AWA and ATS pedestrian signal mentioned above.
Early Eagle traffic signal. This heavy cast signal has glass mirror reflectors and lenses (new ones have metal reflectors and plastic lenses).

The red and amber glass lenses are Stop / Go USA while the green arrow lens is a poly Eagle one made in Australia.

Older yellow painted Eagle traffic signal. This was purchased on eBay, painted black. Some time spent with paint stripper and a toothbrush revealed the original yellow paint still underneath.
Hybrid (symbol and text) No Right Turn sign.
Comparison of 300mm and 200mm lens traffic lights. Both are poly (plastic) products from Aldridge Traffic Systems (ATS). The 200mm red lens has suffered being melted by a previous owner using a mirror-back spot light bulb in it. Something of a problem when traffic lights get used in dance clubs etc.
The 200mm signal in this photo has no reflectors in it either.
I attached these two signals together temporarily to represent a common configuration in Australia. Red, Amber, Green 'circle' aspects with Red, Amber and Green arrow aspects. This was displayed in the front window of my model railway shop for some time with the red light on and green arrow pointing to the front door. It was supposed to say STOP, and come in. But I don't know if anyone else saw it the same way.
Older pedestrian crossing push button.
Pictured shortly after acquisition. An Eagle CJ36 electro-mechanical traffic signal controller, LED traffic light and a neon pedestrian signal.

YouTube video of these items in operation the day after I got them (well, at least I got them inside).

Here are some of the above items as now set up for display use. Note that in the second photo the traffic light is in the old red and amber before green phase that was common in Victoria prior to the 1980s. The CJ36 was still set up for this when I received it and I am happy to leave it that way.

Two more YouTube videos showing the traffic lights in operation.

This was the initial set up using an Aldridge 3-aspect halogen signal and a 1980s style metal pedestrian signal (which had never been used until that day).
Third photo shows me wiring up the traffic light pole. 19.9.2006.
Using paint stripper on the neon pedestrian signal, these two plates were revealed. Yes, that important warning had been painted over. Note G+W. A Gulf + Western Company!  Paramount Pictures once had that written underneath too. G+W apparently had very wide ranging interests.
This is what is inside the neon pedestrian signals. Red and green neon tubes. The middle image shows the green neon when cold and not used for a long time. It was very dull. After a few minutes, the ends have become brighter. After around 10 minutes, the whole tube was an even brightness. The green WALK neon is not normally on for more than 10 seconds or so, so it does not get much chance to warm up in normal use.
An as new ATS / Eagle cast aluminium pedestrian signal. Seems to be a 1980s era item. Still has a little bit of style in it. Unlike many present day signals.
200 and 300mm Eagle Signals.
Pedestrian wig-wag - yes, the lenses are amber, not red.
AWA traffic signal controller.
Back of cabinet.
Fibre Optic NO RIGHT TURN sign.
Eagle pedestrian signals
Eagle 2-aspect text pedestrian signal and neon pedestrian signal.
Eagle CJ36 controller
Cams and switches in the CJ36
Timer in CJ36
Although the Eagle CJ 36 is an electro-mechaincal controller, it has a solid state flasher for the flashing DON'T WALK sequence.
Time switch in the CJ 36.
Eagle pedestrian signal lanterns. This style was originally for text (DON'T WALK / WALK) lenses but these are examples of the pictogram lenses before the round-lens versions appeared.
Pair of AWA / Plessey lanterns. I chose the one on the left (with hinge and clasp parts missing) as the first to be restored, as seen in the following photos.
Restoring an AWA / Plessey 'tin' signal. The cut-down one on the left provided parts for the one on the right.
Stripped of parts and missing hinges replaced.
White primer
Yellow paint
The hazards of using bright colours outdoors in pleasant weather. :)
Final yellow coat. Reflectors refixed in place.
Red AWA lens
Green AWA lens
Lenses and doors in place.
Finished job. Well, other than rewiring and getting some visors made and attached.
AWA large-bead type B glass lens.
Restored AWA and yet to be restored 300mm Eagle.
Before and after.
Other signal lanterns await their turn.
Assorted signal bits and pieces for future restoration.
V/Line bus stop sign (unused stock).
Working level crossing signal with lights and bell.
Another aspect of my collection is models and toys, although it is a very small collection. These two battery operated traffic lights were made in Hong Kong. The one on the left is a UK styled signal while that on the right is US styled. I had an identical one as a child, and so just had to get this one (from Denmark) when I saw it on eBay.
An earlier toy / miniature UK traffic signal. Not certain if this was intended as a toy or a promotional tool. The illustration on the box is a different type to what was in it.
Turning the knob on the control box changes the lights. It even does the red and amber before green aspect common in the UK, and formerly in some Australian states.

Made by Signalling Equipment Ltd. Potters Bar, Middlesex, England.

More working toy traffic lights.  The green one at far left is the only "4-way" toy with red at the top and green at the bottom on all four sides. The others have green at the top on two sides to make use of the same bulb on all sides at once. Looks odd to have the green on top, but some very early traffic lights actually worked the same way.
The blue traffic light in the nearest photo only has 2 faces. As you can see, one is a pedestrian signal. There is a pedestrian button on the post which, when pressed, instantly puts the traffic light at red and the pedestrian light at walk.
Road safety games are not all that common, but I've managed to obtain a few of them.
The Golden Fleece Safetiroad game (Price three shillings) is one I've had most of my life and always wanted to play it.
Belt Up - a game by THE SUN newspaper.
Cars were driven from one town to the other by the throw of dice. Road rule and safety questions were asked along the way. Players had to park on the side of the road for this and to get back on the road after successfully answering the question you had to throw the BELT UP dice and have one say BELT, the other UP. 
METCON - A road rules simulation.
This game was probably the most realistic road game made in Australia. It seemed to cover most Australian road situations. The Victorian version is shown (includes trams).

Page added 18/04/2004
Page updated 23/08/2011

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