Willis Lamm's
Traffic Signal Collection

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  G.E. Signals

General Electric (GE) was a significant early traffic signal manufacturer. In 1923 GE bought Garret Morgan's traffic signal patent. Morgan didn't invent the first traffic signal but his design attracted GE's attention. Read story.

GE's Novalux and grooveback single face heads were quite popular. Their post WW-II one-piece 4-way had a distinctive look and was a practical signal. Their streamline single face model, introduced in 1954, was quite modern for its time. Early GE signals had holophane spiderweb pattern lenses. Later GE lenses had what we generally describe as a brick pattern. GE's traffic signal product line was taken over by Econolite in 1957 and Econolites are still made today.

The collection so far includes a 4-way, a single faced head with "brick" lenses, a Baltimore spec streamline single faced head and a streamline pedestrian head.

This particular 4-way came from Pittsburgh, PA.

  The G.E. Four Way

This signal came with an assortment of lenses. I made up a complete set of spiderwebs using a combination of old GE Holophane and Siemens spiderweb lenses. Both types of lenses were virtually indistinguishable except that the Holophane lenses had the GE logo in the center of the lens and the Siemens lens rims were a fraction smaller than the Holophanes.

Remembering the spiderweb pattern as a youngster, I opted to go with spideys on this signal. See if you can tell the difference between the lenses.


Combination of Holophane and Siemens lenses.
Which one is the original GE lens?
Here are some other GE characteristics.

The gooseneck weatherhead and hanger is somewhat unique. The hanger clamps to a ball on top of the gooseneck. Two bolts can be loosened to adjust the direction of the signal.





This signal uses "cereal bowl" glass reflectors that clamp against the doors. The signal appeared to have originally come with a terminal strip that was mounted to the inside of the top plate, however it may have broken off. This particular unit now has a pendant terminal strip. The socket hanging at the bottom of the loom is used for the down light and fits into the down light reflector.

Field stripping to sand and paint.
Painted, assembled and ready to test.
Installing the down light.
Down light operating.



This was a nice signal to restore.


Continue to G.E. Grooveback Signal

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