Willis Lamm's
Traffic Signal Collection


Internally Controlled Signals
Part Two


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Sargent-Sowell (currently known as "SA-SO") is a municipal supplies company that included a number of products sold under its own label. It sold a line of "small town" traffic signals that competed with W.S. Darley. The later version Sargent-Sowell signals used 6-circuit die cast cam controllers that displayed a distinctive short all-red interval at phase changes. This particular signal was likely placed in service during the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Sargent-Sowell differed from most other internally controlled signals by having a separate closed compartment in the bottom of the signal that housed the controller. The controller could be easily accessed for servicing by loosening two bolts.

Sargent-Sowell doors were made so that they could be easily completely removed for servicing the signal. The signal used aluminum dish reflectors with slight ridges that snapped into place and used Kopp TL-4777 sawtooth pattern lenses.

Late 1950s or early 60s vintage Sargent-Sowell

Undergoing restoration, showing the reflectors.
Mounted and in service on display.

The cams in the Sargent-Sowell controller were cut pretty accurately and displays during phase changes were pretty crisp. You can view a video of the display sequence on YouTube.

The lines manufactured by Southern Switch and Signal Company signals were eventually absorbed by Teeco Safety Products. Teeco continued to sell fixed 4-way signals into the early 2000s, mainly as authentic looking replacement signals for use in historic districts.

View looking up at the controller compartment.

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