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Traffic Semaphores


The Doylestown Borough Council held its last regular session of 1923 on Monday night Dec. 17. At that meeting, council decided to purchase an electric semaphore system “which will control traffic along Main Street at all corners where necessary, all under the supervision of one officer.” [Traffic semaphores had separate Stop and Go arms that were alternately lowered as a bell sounded. At night, a red light signaled stop, and a green light signaled go. The semaphore signal was used until the four-way, tri-colored traffic light became the standard in 1935.]
“In Doylestown, the central control station will probably be located at Main and Ashland streets. Installation will cost about $500, and the only expense will be the cost of electricity after installation.
“It is estimated that operating 24 hours a day will cost $50 a month for electricity. A red-light system for the police was also suggested.

“Whenever the police are wanted at night, the telephone operator is notified. The operator immediately presses a button which turns on all the red lights in the town located on the regular electric light poles. A committee was instructed to see what the cost of installation of such a system in Doylestown would be.”
Source: Doylestown Intelligencer, Dec. 18, 1923.