This page is a collection of old signs and other nifty non-signal items found on, or collected from, the streets of New Jersey.
Ben Kranefeld’s New Jersey Road Finds
Ben’s Cast Iron Sign Photos
Cast iron was used for a variety of early 20th Century signage in New Jersey. Below are excellent photos of cast iron sign survivors taken by Ben Kranefeld in his travels across New Jersey.
Town-mileage guidepost signs – three in Penns Grove, two in Cranbury. The last photo shows a transplanted (and probably culled from multiple sources) post in a park space along the Delaware River in Pennsville. It was used as a water fountain at some point.
County-line markers along NJ routes 47, 168, 77, 29, 27 and 22
Other cast iron signs, including:
NOTICE… – US Route 130 in Logan Twp.
DMV Inspection Station – Wheaton Ave., Millville
DMV Inspection Station Exit & Entrance – Salem-Woodstown Road, near Salem
Old Salem Road Historic Marker – NJ Route 154, Cherry Hill
Spanktown Historical Marker – Rahway
Look Out for the Locomotive – crossing of the former Central Railroad of NJ’s Southern Division in Woodland Twp
Ben’s AAA Guidepost Sign Photos
South Jersey still has many of these AAA guidepost signs, which I assume date from the 1960s-80s. Ben Kranefeld sent me these images from his recent travels in Camden and Cumberland counties.
Ben’s Other Interesting Finds
Another cool find of Ben’s is this very old (1930s?) sign gantry over the southbound lanes of US Route 130 in Haddon Township. I am pretty sure I remember seeing this myself over 30 years ago. I love the finials topping the posts. Note also the faded “flying goose” guide signs pointing to the Walt Whitman and Commodore Barry bridges to Philadelphia.
Last, but certainly not least, of Ben’s photos, is of this 1910s concrete marker for the Lincoln Highway in Princeton.
Other Survivors in the Wild
This awesome cast iron sign with cateye reflectors is rusting away on Allwood Road in Clifton. The photo was sent to me by retired Clifton PD officer Bob Bracken, who is trying to have it publicly preserved by the city.
Vintage NJ Sign Photos
Changing of the guard… This photo, taken in December 1952 at the Milltown Circle in North Brunswick, shows signs in transition immediately before the state’s highway renumbering, which took effect in January 1953. Drivers here are being introduced to US Routes 130 and 1, which are replacing the old NJ Routes 25 and 26, respectively.
A cast metal SLOW DANGEROUS INTERSECTION sign is being painted in a NJ DOT archive photo on the left. On the right, the same sign can be seen in service in Flemington in 1938.
Collected Sign Gems
This was a 2018 eBay near-miss… a porcelain guide sign from Essex County that was sold a few miles from me (Arrrgghhh!!). I remember seeing these at various Essex County intersections into the 1990s. Another example, paired up with a really cool Essex County Highway System badge, can be seen in the photo set above it.
Fifty-fifty…either way, it’s cool. Ben Kranefeld has NJ Route 50 shields from two periods. On the left is a 1949-spec 18″ cast aluminum shield, and on the right is a more familiar 24″ circle-in-square shield as specified from the early 1960s onward.
Although not Ben’s, this is a fantastic, very old cast STOP sign he spotted in the front yard of some lucky South Jerseyan.
The photo on the left was grabbed from eBay many years ago, showing the only example I have ever seen of the original Garden State Parkway shield design from 1954. An ultra-rare piece that I’d love to have in my collection. I used to own one of the more familiar GSP shields.
On the right is one of the original Crouse-Hinds Type DT signals that were used at the GSP toll booth exits, with the THANK YOU stencil on the green lens. I forgot if any verbiage was on the red. These CH heads, along with neon arrows directing the drivers to the coin baskets, were still used at the toll booths in the 1980s when I started driving.
Brothers Pizza on NJ Route 33 in Hamilton has a beautiful 18″ NJ Route 33 shield (1949 spec.) on the wall in their dining area. A visitor to this site named David kindly sent me this photo.
This traffic light in South Orange goes back to about 1950, but the gas lamp behind it dates back to the late 19th century. When I lived in South Orange in the early 90s, the town still maintained about 1,400 of them throughout the town.
Many New Jerseyans my age and older ought to remember these quaint little mail boxes on concrete posts, which went extinct probably over 30 years ago. I have seen a couple of the box-less posts still hanging around. This box was photographed at Monument Square in New Brunswick during the 1958 holiday season.