Willis Lamm's
Traffic Signal Collection

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  Plessey Tin Lantern

Plessey manufactured signals for the United Kingdom. Many of the older views of London and other large cities showed Plesseys at the intersections. I consider it very fortunate to have a Plessey Tin Lantern in the collection.

This particular tin lantern is a later model, perhaps placed in service in the 1960s. It is held together by rivets. (For earlier models the pieces were soldered together.) When stripping the old paint I discovered it was originally a striped signal so I painted it in that style.

This signal is amazingly simple in construction yet very practical. The signal body is one sheet of aluminum. The signal face rivets to the body. The cast aluminum ends are attached by five screws each.

Side View.
Power feeds in the back.
Aluminum reflector mounted with three screws.
Porthole latches on left, hinges on right.
Simple socket setup.
UK style crosshatch lenses.

After restoring the signal I was able to locate one of the original glass lettered "STOP" lenses. Early UK signals had lettered red lenses, although the amber and green lenses were non lettered. Lettered lenses in the UK were discontinued some 40 years ago so the acquisition of this lens restores this signal to the state it could have been when it was first installed.

The lettered lens has the same crosshatch pattern as the non lettered lenses except for cast letters on the inside (bulb side) of the lens painted with black enamel.

The inside of the lens.
The lens when illuminated.

Signals in the UK have a slightly different sequence than those in the USA. View the UK sequence.

To learn more about traffic signals and signs in the UK, check out Simon Patterson's Traffic Signals On-Line.

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