This goes back to the whole idea of letting others know what kind of hobbies you’re in to. I found out that the son of our pastor is into Pez dispensers. I had one laying around that I really had no desire to hold onto any more so I gave it to him. If I didn’t know he was into those things, it would have been thrown into the recycle bin or garbage.
Well, the same goes for my situation, too. A few weeks ago, a friend and his boys were driving past a garage sale and noticed an old 4-way traffic light for sale. They immediately thought of me because of an event our church had called “Bring Your Other Passion to Church”, which I talked about in a previous post. I had to run out to pick up some lawn-and-leaf bags at the hardware store, so I took a minor detour in the opposite direction towards the sale.
The signal, made by Horni in the late 1920s or early 30s, was only the frame with a box of original lenses. It had been purchased by the man’s father with intentions of fixing it up and lighting it with a florescent tube inside. Unfortunately, that never happened and after this guy got it from his father, it sat in his shed for about 20 years.
Now it’s mine. And with a pseudo-promise of getting it painted and working, I’ll send some photos to the gentleman so he can show his family when all is done. My biggest dilemma is to decide whether or not to keep the original Horni/Kopp #27 lenses. My intent is to outfit the signal with newer LED inserts since the original reflector mounts were broken off the insides of the signal doors at some point. Finding replacements is going to be nearly impossible, so rather than jury-rig the lenses in place with third-party reflectors and sockets, I thought I’d give it a modern facelift. We’ll see. I’m still trying to figure out if I should part the lenses out or not.
Either way, I have a great piece of signal history added to my collection. All because someone else knows me and what I collect.