These are genuine, real traffic lights, plucked from the street.
Real traffic lights seemed out of reach to me when I was a kid. So getting my first real traffic light was a thrill. It came from the Chester Flea Market when I was about 10 years old. There was nothing special about it. It was a standard three-section with no visors. It ran off of, what appeared to be, a home-made controller, about the size of a cigar box. The simple mechanism slowly rotated a wheel with three short indents cut into the edge. Rocker switches for each indication were triggered on and off by dropping into the indentations on the wheel. I enjoyed the signal for many years before it fell over and got its red lens smashed. At a time long before eBay, I didn’t know where to get a replacement lens, so I sold it at a garage sale a year or two later. Nothing much happened after that with my collection for some time.
Fast forward about 15 years and things got going again with more real traffic lights, the first of which was found on eBay; a Crouse Hinds two-section Art Deco. With help from friends and searches on eBay and Craigslist, sometimes I get lucky and sometimes I have to work to get them. This page isn’t just limited to traffic lights, but also contains a cool controller and a “Signal Ahead” sign. Technically, they’re not traffic lights, but they are part of the real-world traffic control landscape.