Old Hoboken Marbelite

When the City of Hoboken upgraded the traffic signals along Washington Street in 2018, I had the pleasure of helping install the 1930s Horni signal from Washington & 1st in the Hoboken Historical Museum.  As a token of their appreciation, the museum staff gave us several other pieces of retired traffic equipment, including the circa 1947 Marbelite 4-way “cluster” signal that was taken down from Washington & 5th.

This signal had spent an incredible 70+ years in service. As the photos above show, it was suspended from an aluminum truss mast – it outlived the original steel guy-wire mast. It was one of the signals I took notice of whenever I was in Hoboken, and I was delighted to acquire one of the four heads from that cluster for my own collection.

Our signal booty, stashed away for us in a dark corner of a Hoboken parking garage… Randy “3LiteGuy” Trezak and Mike Natale hauled them to Randy’s place on Long Island and carefully dismantled the two 4-way signal clusters; the old Marbelite along with a yellow Econolite from the 1960s-70s.

I’ve displayed this signal a few different ways. I now have it in my garage on a octagon-based post, cut to 56″. This post was salvaged by a retired Philadelphia signal tech and I bought it from fellow signal collector, Matt Cornely. It’s totally bustin’ a Jersey and a Philly vibe now!

Soon after getting the light, I had the good fortune to find green and amber Marbelite No. 6540 lenses. These are beautiful old lenses that do not adhere to the later ITE color specs. The amber has a “beer bottle” look, darker than typical amber lenses. The green is truly emerald green; not cyan like most “green” lenses. As much as I would like to keep this signal 100% original, it is the natural home for the 6540 lenses. I am currently trying to locate a red.