Stunning Photographs of Bronze Traffic Signal Towers in New York City From the 1920s – Design You Trust — Design Daily Since 2007

Stunning Photographs of Bronze Traffic Signal Towers in New York City From the 1920s

New York Traffic Signal Tower 1

In the early 20th century, New York’s Fifth Avenue faced severe congestion, with a mix of horses, carriages, pedestrians, street cars, bicycles, and automobiles vying for space.


New York Traffic Signal Tower 2

This often led to long delays and frequent collisions, negatively impacting local businesses. Dr. John A. Harriss, a wealthy physician and the city’s traffic commissioner, played a crucial role in alleviating this issue by funding the construction and maintenance of the first traffic towers introduced on February 16, 1920. These towers, equipped with hand-operated signals controlled by traffic officers, significantly improved traffic flow.

New York Traffic Signal Tower 3

On May 16, 1921, New York City approved the installation of five new, more advanced traffic towers along Fifth Avenue, with two additional towers later added, thanks to The Fifth Avenue Association. Designed by Joseph H. Freedlander and manufactured by the John A. Polachek Bronze and Iron Co., these 24-foot-tall bronze towers featured synchronized clocks and tolled the hours. The first of these new towers began operating on December 14, 1922, at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, marking a significant step forward in traffic management. By April 27, 1925, a new city law simplified the signal system to just red for “stop” and green for “go,” streamlining traffic flow further.

New York Traffic Signal Tower 4
New York Traffic Signal Tower 5
New York Traffic Signal Tower 6

If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Design You Trust Facebook page. You won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

When Modern Love Meets Classic Comic Books
Retro-Futuristic Collages Of Frank Moth Venture Between Dreams And Reality
The Albee Rolligon: An Innovative Transport Truck From the 1950s
A Selection of The Canadian Architect Magazine Covers From the 1960s
Graphic Designers Remade Old Buildings Around The World By Using Trends Of The 21st Century
Curious Photos Of Cynthia, A Superstar Mannequin In The ‘30s
Singing Ringing Tree
This Humble Little House Was Designed For A Chef To Live On The Coast Of Norway
Introducing La Modiste Universelle, a Fashion Magazine with Original Hat Designs From the 19th Century
Stunning Photos from Dick Smith's Do-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up Handbook Published in 1965
This Master Of Art Installation And Illusions Creates Rooms That Will Make You Think The Walls Are Waving At You
This Cave-Like Art Gallery Has Been Built Inside A Sand Dune
Cool Snaps Capture Little Kids With Their Headphones In The 1970s
This Illuminated Arch Rises Up Out Of The Water And Surrounds A Foot Bridge In Texas
This Instagram Account Creates Sinister Parodies of Retro Pop-Culture Pictures
Futuristic Organic Cities By Luca Curci Architects
Chinese Drug Maker’s Deluxe Office Building Comparable to Imperial Palace
The Original Hells Angels: Amazing Photographs Capture Daily Life Of A Notorious Biker Gang In California In The 1960s
Japanese Actress Akiko Wakabayashi Posing With the Toyota 2000GT as Featured in "You Only Live Twice", 1967
Photographer Richard Johnson Captures the Beauty of Canada’s Ice-Hut Communities
30 Vintage Ads That Would Be Banned Today
City Hall - The Ghost Subway Station of New York
Antique Postcard Images Reveal Projected Visions of the US a Century Later
Stunning Photos Of The Notre Dame Cathedral Covered By Sandbags During The World War I