In 2020, collector John Rosenblatt made a splendid estate sale find in New Jersey. He scored an early 1930s single-face traffic signal by American Gas Accumulator. The seller informed John that the light was retired in the late 1960s from the corner of Knickerbocker & Clinton in Tenafly. The Google Street view of the intersection at the time of this writing shows signals are at least 50 years old, and one of the poles is a steel pole that probably goes back to the ’30s, so I think the seller could very well be right about that.
After the initial cleaning and test wire-up (video above), John cleaned and dismantled the light, and did some work to straighten a bent housing. He noticed that the original paint was silver, which was pretty common for signals installed in New Jersey before WWII.
The red and amber lenses are the original Cornings with an older, darker pigment. The photo on the left shows a more modern amber lens on left and the old amber lens from John’s signal on the right. The color of the older lens is more reminiscent of a beer bottle.
A new terminal block was installed and then it was lit up again (video below). I’ll admit I’m a tad jealous!