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    Manahawkin, New Jersey
  1. My recent acquisition is this fairly new street sign that saw service somewhere in Queens, New York. I believe it is between two to four years old. Though fairly new in appearance, the street sign has some wear and tear here and there. All in all, it is in very good shape. Even has its original bracket still attached to it. This new version of the vinyl aluminum street sign was introduced in New York City a couple of years ago, and it has since replaced the previous version, in which it used uppercase letters. The newer street sign mainly uses lowercase letters, of course; however, each name of a street begins with only one uppercase letter. The rest that follow are lowercase. Though not a complete set of every kind of vinyl aluminum street sign that was (and is currently) in use in New York City, below, is a picture of my set of vinyl aluminum street signs from New York City, in which shows an evolution of this kind of street sign. From bottom to top, the earliest ones, introduced to the city around 1964, are "color-coded," while the universal white on green appeared in the picture in the 1980s, in which uppercase letters were still in use (see "150 RD"). And the one on the top is the most current version in use, which uses a different font, not to mention mainly lowercase letters.
  2. I'm not a fan of Boy George and Culture Club; however, I am fond of this particular song. Catchy song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD9eD7f2IG8 Was a big hit when it spread like wildfire on the radio stations in the early 1980s.
  3. Those small, green pedestrian push button signs still linger in various locations of New York City today, and, for the most part, many are in bad condition. The one that I have is actually in very good shape. Along the lines of inoperable pedestrian push buttons, they are seldom removed. It is rather costly for N.Y.C.D.O.T. to remove one. It would cost the department in between $300 to $400, and, from what I recall, there are well over 900 throughout the boroughs that are inoperable to this day. The grand total for the removal process would be a lot, and I could understand that the folks want to conserve money. And, yes, there are a lot of goodies hidden in various locations of Central Park today. If memory serves me right, there are at least two original "WAIT" and "WALK" pedestrian signal lenses in service. They were common at one time, but most were replaced over the years with red and green signal indications. Though most of them are L.E.D., some are still incandescent, in which they are still illuminated, while others have been burnt for quite a long time. Along the lines of vintage traffic control memorabilia, there are quite a handful of pieces still in service, in which some of these I believe are currently preserved for historical intentions by the city of New York.
  4. I have these two vintage pedestrian push button signs in my private collection. The one to the left is from the mid 1960s or so, and it is perhaps the earliest version of a pedestrian push button sign from New York City. It saw service somewhere in Ozone Park, Queens. The one next to it dates back to 1969, and it was actually in use with the pedestrian push button that I provided pictures of when I originally established this thread. I'm not sure where it saw service in New York City. Note, too, that each sign uses the original D.O.T. label, which is "DEPT OF TRAFFIC." Various street signs throughout New York City once used this label prior to the name change of the department, which happened sometime between 30 to 35 years ago.
  5. What kind of street sign are you referring to? There were several kinds that were in use throughout the city over the years. Also, what you mentioned about the reuse of street signs is interesting to me, since I was not aware of that. What's interesting to mention, too, is that, a while back, I acquired a porcelain "humpback" street sign that originally saw service in Brooklyn. At the time I received it, the body of the street sign was repainted (was rather black in appearance), and the letters of the name of the street were repainted, too. Below, are two pictures of the sign shortly after I acquired it. Notice that the other street, which is "N. 15 ST.," was simply painted over. As to why it originally was is I suppose an enigma, since the actual intersection these two streets meet at is still in existence today. Though I have noticed that many original "humpback" street signs from Brooklyn only showed the main streets, not the streets motorists were on. A rather interesting observation to point out. Back to the street sign itself. Shortly after I received it, I decided to restore its original appearance prior to when it was repainted by the city. It took me a couple of days to remove the second coat of paint from the actual body of the street sign and repainted letters. Though, with patience, I was able to revive the original appearance. Below, are two pictures of the final product. A little elbow grease and some paint remover did the trick. As to why the city repainted the actual street sign is pretty evident, since the original appearance has noticeable wear and tear. Though I prefer this "off-the-street" look, since that, in my book, gives it character. Aside from this "humpback," I also own two others. Each one is from a different borough. The Bronx and Manhattan. To complete my set, I am currently searching for one from Staten Island. With regards to Queens, the borough never used this kind to begin with.
  6. A friend of mine has been working for N.Y.C.D.O.T. since the late 1970s, and he has been able to obtain various retired street signs in the past. He has some in his private collection; however, he has sold what he obtained from time to time on mainly the EBay market. I have obtained most of what I own from him in the past. Others remain a mystery, since some of what I have were found in salvage yards.
  7. Even if it fell off of its original sign post, the sign is still considered as New York City's property. That particular one, not to mention others I currently own, were legally acquired over the years. One could typically find such signs on either EBay or Craigslist. Most of what I have were acquired from EBay. Others were found at local salvage yards. If there is something in particular that I seek (in regards to a vintage New York City street sign), I usually browse EBay, since practically everything is sold on there on a daily basis.
  8. I'm not familiar with the word "foamer," but, in regards to street signs, I am a vintage New York City street sign enthusiast and collector. I've always been fascinated by them for as long as I could remember. Today, I have 21 in my collection. Here's one portion of the collection.
  9. New York City used several kinds of "ONE WAY" signs in the 20th century, and one in particular was introduced in the 1950s and discontinued in the early 1960s. Below, is a picture of two of the same kind that are in my possession. Unlike today's "ONE WAY" street signs in New York City, early kinds, like this one, for example, were literally shaped as arrows (prior to the 1960s). In the early 1960s, the final kind was introduced to New York, which is still in use nearly 50 years later. I have one that is an original from possibly that time period, in which could be viewed below. Both sides of it are shown. Since its introduction, there have been minor adjustments to it over the years, such as the label of "DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION" on it.
  10. For you fanatics, a while back, I came across this interesting film on YouTube that was recorded back in the early 1980s. Shows various classic city buses of the time (mainly from Queens). In the background of this film, is music of what was popular in both 1980 and 1981. I'm not exactly crazy about most of the songs that could be heard, but I like some that I remember well, such as Alicia Myers' "I want to thank you" at 1:24.
  11. You are right; that has been in use for many years. In the old days, a beacon that controlled a simple four-way intersection in a small town typically had four sides. Two sides flashed amber for the main drag, while the other two flashed red for the cross street. Although I cannot be sure, it is unlikely that these traffic signals in New York City were set to operate in flash mode as well.
  12. Some of you may remember that most traffic signals throughout New York City were composed of only two signal indications, and they were red and green. This was the norm for quite a long period of time (prior to the widespread use of the amber indication in the 1950s). Below, is a small set of photographs that I acquired of such traffic signals that were once in service throughout the city. Enjoy them. Classic traffic signal from the Ruleta company outside of St. Patrick's cathedral. Manhattan, Unknown year. A Ruleta in its famous overlap phase (both signal indications lit at the same time), which warned drivers to come to a full stop. From Life magazine. Circa 1957. Crossing on green. 1920s. Well known bronze signal (as some people refer to it as) on 5th Avenue in Manhattan. 1940s. It was quite a decorative traffic signal that was introduced in the city in 1931. Marbelite cluster on Park Avenue. At E. 49th street. May, 1971. Park Avenue. Circa 1968.
  13. Great song from Stephanie Mills. Released back in 1980. Still a great song over 30 years later.
  14. Below, is an older set that I have. 1930s to 1960s. At Victory Blvd. and Clove Rd. Mid 1950s. Not exactly a clear photograph, but this is the intersection of Bay Street and Stuyvesant Place in the St. George section of Staten Island. 1940s. Borough Hall is in the background. The original St. George ferry terminal. Circa 1966. At the intersection of Richmond Avenue and Amboy Road. Eltingeville, Staten Island. 1930s. Quite unrecognizable today. At Port Richmond Avenue and Richmond Terrace. Late 1930s. At Amboy Road/Brown Avenue/Giffords Lane. 1930s. At the corner of Richmond Avenue and Arthur Kill Road. Once again, quite unrecognizable as of present day. Here's a little interesting fact: N.Y. 440 originally began right after this intersection on Staten Island before it was relocated in the 1970s. Forest Avenue. Near the Goethals Bridge. 1950s. This is the general area of where the movie theatre and Home Depot are today. At the corner of Post Avenue and Jewett Avenue. With a lovely Ruleta traffic signal at the corner. 1955.
  15. River Road in the Bloomfield section of Staten Island. With the former Con Edison railroad (now used by the city's Sanitation department) and 230 K.V. Goethals-Linden line. Staten Island, New York. May, 1973. The background is the general area of where the West Shore Expressway would be located in later years. At the corner of Fairbanks Avenue and Brook Avenue. May, 1973. In the Oakwood section of Staten Island. Near Hylan Boulevard. This new neighborhood was just constructed at the time this photograph was taken, so everything was brand new here. Note that Fairbanks Avenue and Brook Avenue no longer meet each other as of present day.
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