Truss Masts

The first truss rod mast arms that did not have guy wires were used in the mid 1950s.   They have been the standard way to suspend signals in New Jersey, whether vertical or horizontal, since that time.  Today, they are still widely used in new installations, although tubular mast arms are equally common.  Most new NJ installations today use a combination of truss and tubular masts.

Vintage Views

A cool long exposure shot of horizontal trusses featured in a 1960s postcard for the Tropicana Motel at Boston & Pacific in Atlantic City.

Taken from, a new truss arm installation of Marbelites, circa 1970, runs the show in an increasingly busy Spotswood.

Brand new Crouse-Hinds type DT signals on shiny aluminum poles with horizontal masts were installed in Camden in 1956.

These 1950s GE “Streamline” clusters in River Vale were favorites of collector Steve Conboy, who grew up in the area.  As of 2020, Steve now possesses one of the eight signal heads from this intersection.  Pictures to be uploaded soon.

Above, a new installation of LFE-Automatic signals, still wrapped in burlap, gets calibrated in 1970 at Riverview Drive and N. Winifred Drive in Totowa.  I remember passing these lights many times in the ’70s on our way to my uncle’s house in Wayne.  The building in the background was a Thomas’s English Muffins distribution center and thrift store back then.  The 8″ signals facing Winifred are still there, I believe, but the 8″/12″ combo clusters facing Riverview are, sadly, now the standard plastic 12″ “doghouse” style signals.

New Views

In 2017, Steve Conboy sent me a great set of photos that he took of a truss rod signal installation in Totowa, NJ – a traffic light that I am very familiar with.  The 8″ lamps are early LFE-Automatic incandescent signals (check out the cool logo on the closeup photo), from the late ’60s or early ’70s, while the 12″ arrows are by Marbelite.  I really dig the green fading to yellow.   Great photos as usual, Steve!

“Lazy lights” from the 1970s still looking great down the shore in Wildwood…

Banner image: A Marbelite cluster on a truss rod mast overlooks a traffic jam on Route 18 in East Brunswick in the early 1980s