Willis Lamm's
Traffic Signal Collection

  SOUTHERN SWITCH & SIGNAL CO.

Internally Controlled Signals
Part Two

SARGENT-SOWELL

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Sargent-Sowell is a private label signal that was manufactured to spec by Traffic Signals Inc. of Shreveport, LA. The only Sargent-Sowell signals I've seen have all had 6-circuit die cast cam controllers and they displayed a distinctive short all-red interval at phase changes. This particular signal was likely placed in service during the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Sargent-Sowell differed from most other internally controlled signals by having a separate closed compartment in the bottom of the signal that housed the controller. The controller could be easily accessed for servicing by loosening two bolts.

Sargent-Sowell doors were made so that they could be easily completely removed for servicing the signal. The signal used aluminum dish reflectors with slight ridges that snapped into place and used Corning TL-4777 sawtooth pattern lenses.

Late 1950s or early 60s vintage Sargent-Sowell

Undergoing restoration, showing the reflectors.
Mounted and in service on display.

The cams in the Sargent-Sowell controller were cut pretty accurately and displays during phase changes were pretty crisp. You can view a video of the display sequence on YouTube.

The lines of Southern Switch and Signal Company signals were eventually absorbed by Teeco Safety Products. Teeco still makes fixed 4-way signals, mainly for use as authentic looking replacement signals for use in historic districts.

View looking up at the controller compartment.

Continue to Part Three

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