The Washington Street Marbelites

When the City of Hoboken upgraded the traffic signals along Washington Street in 2018, I was very pleased to be a part of the Hoboken Historical Museum Signal project.  As a token of appreciation for installing Hoboken’s oldest traffic light in their museum, the museum staff gave us several pieces of retired equipment, including Hoboken’s second oldest traffic light; the circa 1947 Marbelite 4-way “cluster” from the corner of Washington and 5th, seen in the images above.

Signal aficionados may have noticed that the signal was suspended from a 1970s/’80s aluminum pole with a truss rod mast arm. The original 1940s pole would have been steel, with a guy wire mast arm.  Hudson County maintained traffic lights for an unusually long time, and transferred quite a few old signals to newer poles in this way.

Randy and Mike transported the Hoboken signal booty to the 3-Lite Guy signal workshop and carefully dismantled the clusters.  I have two of the four heads from the Marbelite cluster. They are in great shape, with all of the glass and essential parts intact. They are nice examples of Marbelite signals made immediately after taking over the traffic division of Horni Signal in 1947, so they’re essentially Horni signals re-branded as Marbelite.

Because I like the slightly beat up and weathered look of these lights, and there are photographs of them in service, I’ve kept them in off-the-street condition. One of the red lenses was a replacement, so the only change I made was to restore that lens to the original type, Kopp #66 (thanks, Dave McPhail).  I used a pair of Marbelite cast aluminum brackets to bind and hang them as a 2-way cluster from the basement ceiling.