Eagle 3-aspect head and neon pedestrian signal - Sighspotters
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.
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
More signs lining up for a photo. Mostly eBay
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
Back of cabinet.
Fibre Optic NO RIGHT TURN
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
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
Stripped of parts and missing
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
Restored AWA and yet to be
restored 300mm Eagle.
Before and after.
Other signal lanterns await
Assorted signal bits and
pieces for future restoration.
V/Line bus stop sign (unused
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
Made by Signalling Equipment Ltd. Potters Bar,
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).