Saturday, February 12, 2005

Unknown: Villard Auto Signal Co. Semaphore


We have a Villard Auto Signal Co. semaphore device that we're unsure of whether it's for an automobile or for a railroad. It's from Rochester, NY, and still has its original red and white chevron paint (see photos). I've heard of manual turn indicators for early automobiles, but so far the car  history association folks haven't been able to identify it. We've even wondered if it were a toy piece for an oversized railroad set. Any ideas? -C

Villard Auto Signal Co. semaphore

Villard Auto Signal Co. semaphore


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


It looks too small to be actually used on a railroad. If it has some railroad connection I'd guess one of two ways:
1. Toy train (large)
2. A training prop for railroad people.

Kyle K. Wyatt

Note my NEW address of

Kyle K. Wyatt
Curator of History & Technology
California State Railroad Museum

2/13/2005 7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have seen them in old photos.It's actually a turn signal for a truck. The one I seen was on a 1920s model tt ford truck.

12/10/2008 9:28 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Judith"

Thank you!! We posted this inquiry years ago, and still hadn't heard from anyone who could identify it or its use. A turn signal was one of our guesses, and it's just terrific to have this verified. ...

—Judith & Christopher, Chicago

12/11/2008 11:27 AM  

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