Found a traffic signal - does anyone know what this is?


Hi everyone,

I found this small traffic signal that is very different than anything I ever seen before. It has "Japan" printed on the bottom of the base. I am attaching the photos below if anyone can tell me the brand, scale, and possibly when it was made. It measures approximately 4-1/2" tall from bottom of base to the top. Not sure if this would be considered N or HO scale, or something else. I run across odd stuff all the time and it may very well be something that many others have seen, but I never have. I just thought it was a cool little signal.

It has two very small white arms that you can move manually to move the signals at the top. Has a ladder and also looks like there are some small wires connected that come out of the bottom of the base. Any help greatly appreciated. Thank you!!

Dina
 

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Railroads used that type of signal from the early 1900s and some can still be found on some rail lines.
As with the red-yellow-green signal heads, the semaphores represent instructions to the train engineer.
There are quite a few meanings to each semaphore position. Each railroad would have their own unique signal system.
Predecessor to the semaphore signal system was a simple ball that was hoisted higher or lower on its mast to indicate what the engineer should do. When it was low, the train should slow or stop. When it was at its highest position, full speed ahead. Thus the term "High Balling"
 
Depends on what the semaphore is used for. Generally the red side is for one direction and the black side is the back of that direction.

It could be a train order signal or a block signal.

If the arm moves horizontal to up, its and upper quadrant signal, if the arm moves horizontal to down its a lower quadrant signal. Different roads used different types. Generally vertical, (max up or down) is the equivalent of a green signal, at a 45 degree angle is the equivalent of a yellow signal and horizontal is the equivalent of a red signal.
 



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