The First New York City Traffic Lights Were Ornate Brass Masterpieces

Traffic Signal –  Fifth Avenue and 34th Street, 1922
Traffic Signal – Fifth Avenue and 34th Street, 1922
Left: a bronze traffic signal tower designed by Joseph H. Freedlander at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, 1922
Left: a bronze traffic signal tower designed by Joseph H. Freedlander at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, 1922

Traffic lights weren't always the ugly long dangling poles or even uglier cross-intersection, high-tension wires. About 100 years ago, when the horseless carriage was a shiny new invention, the lights that controlled traffic were quite magnificent. These two towers feature 1922's 5th Avenue and are outfitted with ornate brass styling. They were manually operated by an operator who stayed inside for hours, counting, and watching traffic whiz by at a top speed of about 45 mph.

via Stuff Nobody Cares About

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