The days before stop lights & indicators!

Submitted: Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 16:59
ThreadID: 137513 Views:1369 Replies:10 FollowUps:20
Makes me laugh when thinking back to a arm out the window to turn right, or hand up to signal stopping. My god!, imagine that these days the loss of limb would be horrific!..lol..,.Or Bdoubles and buses with mechanical arms,I can remember sitting in the back of the ol mans prefect van watching him make a right hand turn in the pouring rain cursing because the one and only good shirt got soaking wet , let alone the poor buggers in the back..lol.

Cheers Axle.





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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 17:32

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 17:32
.
Oh yes Axle, I remember them, but had almost forgotten.

Those mechanical things on trucks were innovative but amazingly clumsy.
And a cop on 'point duty' was at risk of a slap in the face from a right-turning truck. lol

And who could forget the "Lucas trafficators". Little illuminated arms that swung out of the 'B' pillar, usually only halfway out then remained there even after "cancelling". Only the Prince of Darkness could have given the world those beauties.

Axle, some of our readers will not have a clue of what we are talking about.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: axle - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 17:44

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 17:44
Hi Allan, It got me smiling to-day when I looked at a old Austin with those illuminated stalks. ..and yeah gone and forgotten!



Cheers Axle
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 21:35

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 21:35
My '59 VW Beetle had those stalks too.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 22:27

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 22:27
I drove Mums Morris Minor with the big 800cc engine.
If you lubed the indicators and made sure the contacts were clean, they always worked ok for me. Most people never attended to them and dirt and dryness was the problem. Great idea, Couldn't see them ON if sun was bright though, OK in the Motherland.
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Follow Up By: Jarse - Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 07:19

Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 07:19
I think they were called semaphores. I remember them on VW’s and some pommy cars.
They were about as reliable as a politician’s promise.

Speaking of Lucas™, they built a vacuum cleaner in the early 20th century.
It was he only thing Lucas built that didn’t suck.
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Reply By: Member - nickb "boab" - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 17:38

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 17:38
Don't have to worry about losing limbs living in South Australia .... cuz no bugga indicates here Ol mate ...LOL
Cheers Nick b
P.S your all entitled to my wisdom.......
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Follow Up By: axle - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 17:48

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 17:48
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!


Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 15:51

Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 15:51
You are not wrong there Nick, Qld is the same.

Macca.
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Reply By: gke - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 17:53

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 17:53
Remember the silent cop in the middle of the intersection ? Had to go around it to do a right turn.
I saw one in a town a few years ago somewhere and thought it good it was kept for historical reasons.
Graham.
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Follow Up By: Paul T2 - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 21:44

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 21:44
There is one in Nyngan.
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Reply By: Member - shane r1 - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 18:47

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 18:47
This reminds me of when I did my motorcycle license test in rural SA . My bike didn’t have indicators, so I was putting my hand out to indicate turning. The copper who was following me around town , said to me That I passed the test , but to only indicate coming up to the corners , and then put both hands back on the handlebars to take the corner. I had been cornering one handed.
Ahh the good ol days!
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 21:02

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 21:02
I think I recall my Dad making right turns from the left side of the road. This was in a country town in Victoria in the fifties. I remember his arm hanging out and him waiting for traffic from ahead and behind. I don't think he was doing a uey, just a right turn. Can anyone confirm if that was the rule at the time - mid fifties.

Yes, those semaphore indicators on the B pillar. My grandma's Hillman Minx had them. Always half up or half down, or full of dust and/or water and a light that didn't work.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 21:40

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 21:40
Didn't all of Victoria have that stupid right turn rule that's only in the Melbourne CBD now? The Kiwis had a rule where left turners had to give way to right turners until recently I think.
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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 21:42

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 21:42
The "hook" turn ... strange in the extreme!
Had a Mexican towing a van drive up the middle lane (which is a "straight ahead only" lane) of a 3 lane up to lights, and cut across 2 lanes of traffic to turn right. Lucky nobody was in the middle lane behind him, or he'd have gotten a blast. As it was, he nearly cut me off doing my right turn from the marked "right turn only" lane.

Reminded me that there are stupid local rules all over, and a signal lack of consistency between states in many things road related!
Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in the hospital, dying of nothing.

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 23:00

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 23:00
"Didn't all of Victoria have that stupid right turn rule that's only in the Melbourne CBD now? The Kiwis had a rule where left turners had to give way to right turners until recently I think."

Michael H9, you have me thinking. Those hook turns in the Melb CBD are to allow trams through so they won't be held up by right turning traffic. Maybe in the fifties all of Vic had to have what applied in the capital, until someone saw sense.

Outside the CBD, right turns are the done standard way, which delays trams. That was the reason for left turn giving way to right turn in VIC, so right turners could clear the tram tracks a bit faster. Again, someone eventually saw sense and Victoria adopted the national rule - except at those special intersections in the CBD where crossing streets each have double tram tracks. I think the intersections are Swanston St with Flinders, Burke and Collins, and Elizabeth with Burke and Collins. Haven't been there for ages, so things may have changed.
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Follow Up By: Member - Warren H - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 23:44

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 23:44
That stupid right turn right of way still exists in the ACT where there is a marked slip lane for the left turn. Caught me out when we moved from Qld. The slip lanes pop up in odd places, as well as some where it makes sense. Think the slip lanes and rule exists in NSW as well?
I remember the hand signals and stuck trafficators, some later vehicles had indicators as well. Hand signals were used well into the sixties for vehicles without indicators. Early on I believe there were hand signals used to signal a left turn. I think you put your arm out as for right turn and rotated your hand anti-clockwise, another version was like a stop signal, but with the lower arm rotated, hand curled and fingers pointing to the left. Not sure it was ever compulsory.
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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 02:14

Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 02:14
The truck hand signalling devices are real collectors items today, they are worth big money.
I learnt to drive in Dad's '38 Dodge 3 ton truck, with mechanical hand signal.

Trying to double declutch going down the cogs approaching a corner, operate the hand signaller with your right hand, and trying to steer and change gears at the same time with the left hand, made you busier than a one-armed paper-hanger in a high wind.

Wind-up windows and a steel roof were a luxury, many cars were still soft-top roadsters with clip-on flexible perspex windows, until the mid-1950's.

Even up until the early 1950's, there were still "C-cab" wooden-framed, doorless cabs, on quite a number of commercial vehicles.

Don't even get me started on GM's famous vacuum windscreen wipers! - or their "go-faster" drum brakes, that pulled you into the adjoining lane, when you were trying to stop!

You were going up the highway, and wanted to pass a slower vehicle in the pouring rain - and as soon as you floored it for overtaking, the wipers practically came to a halt, as the manifold vacuum dropped away to virtually nothing!

Brake lights have actually been around for a long time - since 1915.
By the late 1920's, the majority of vehicles being produced, were fitted with brake lights.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: axle - Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 06:21

Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 06:21
G/Day Ron, What about the six volt electrical systems.(VW, Ford Prefects,and a few others, ..HEADLIGHTS!!. what Headlights,..lol.


Cheers.









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Follow Up By: Neil & Pauline - Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 11:16

Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 11:16
We had made up an 8v battery instead of 6v. Was 12v case with 2 cells missing. Could actually see when the lights were on then and starter motor was faster than the crank handle. Plus all the ponmmy positive earth vehicles just to keep you busy cleaning the earth.
Neil
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 11:42

Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 11:42
6 volt Ford V8's were the worst! And that mongrel of a crab distributor location, when you wanted to check the points gap, or the distributor cap and leads!

Even watched a bloke get so mad with his cranky old Ford V8, he jump started it from the 32V lighting plant bank of batteries!!

I can tell you this much, that 32 volts fired up the old V8 in 2 seconds flat!
With todays vehicles, you'd blow the electronics with an overcharge like that - but the old Ford happily absorbed the 32 volts, and went straight to work!

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: ian.g - Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 19:02

Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 19:02
Had a Ford Blitz that had the dreaded crab distributor, situated right behind the fan, even a reasonably heavy shower of rain would wet the bloody thing, was also a real pain in the arse to fit or replace points. Also had a real problem with vaporising fuel between fuel pump and carby. Was very pleased when we put a Perkins in it. We used this vehicle as a fire truck on a property I worked on in Central Queensland, wonder we weren't burnt to death in the bloody thing.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 22:16

Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 22:16
Ian, I can recall when the Shire of Wickepin employed an ex-military Ford Blitz (CMP) for the town Fire Truck (from the 1950's to the 1970's).

A farmers house about 40kms ENE of Wickepin caught fire mid-morning, and the word was phoned in, that all available hands, and the fire truck, was urgently needed at the farm!

The vollies rounded everyone up, fired up the old Blitz, and set off at the grand top speed of 65kmh, to the fire!

Halfway there, they were stopped by locals returning from fighting the fire!

They told them, "Don't worry about the fire - you can go home, the house is razed!!" LOL

It wasn't long after that, the old Blitz was retired - and a new, and much faster fire truck, was acquired!

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: ian.g - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 12:47

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 12:47
Our Ford Blitz wasn't that slow, we also had a Chev that the Ford would run rings around when it was going, both were long wheel base trucks and carried 2000 gallon ships tanks plus assorted pumps and beaters plus the man power to operate them, when the Ford was repowered it slowed it a bit but was still faster than the Chev however when you consider the weight they were carrying, probably around 9.5 To 10 tonnes including the steel army trays they had on them they did fairly well. Don't know what happened to the Ford / Perkins but found the Chev halfway through a restoration in Isisford a couple of years ago.
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Reply By: Mark R - Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 07:27

Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 07:27
I remember when I was a kid we had a 48215 (FX). Had an external switch on the single tail light. Had to get out to turn it on.
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Follow Up By: ian.g - Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 19:06

Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 19:06
My father had a 51 Ford single spinner that you had to get out and turn the tail lights on.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 19:31

Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 19:31
.
There was a short period in history when some bright spark bureaucrat thought it a good idea to ensure that the driver was certain that his tail lights were actually working.
It soon became apparent that the concept was futile as it was often forgotten that the additional act was necessary to turn them on.
There was also the problem that it was easy to forget to turn them off when parked for the night with the result of a flat battery in the morning.
The idea was dropped in about a year or two.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Greg A6 - Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 08:21

Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 08:21
I remember sticking my arm out of my FJ holden and doing a down ward stirring motion, indicating that I was going to do a U-Turn!!
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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 16:16

Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 16:16
My Dad had a Ford Prefect with "trafficators". My Grandfather bought a English Lanchester, it also had trafficators.



What about the old clock face traffic lights, there used to be a set at the corner of Gaffney St. & Cumberland Road, I think they were still in use up until the early 60's.

Macca.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 23:45

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 23:45
I remember when I was in rookie training at Puckpunyal in late '69, we did a trip to the "Big Smoke" (Melbourne) one long weekend to check the place out (not ever having been there before).

I seem to recall there was a set of traffic lights on the Nepean Hwy with that clock face setup. 'Twas a marvel to us boys from the bush and the Left Coast.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Nifty1 - Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 21:42

Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 21:42
And yes, the blue light above the windscreen to show you were towing something. In NZ anyway, you pulled to the left and waited for all traffic to pass before indicating and turning right off the main road. Got a full car and motorbike licence at 15 but couldn’t get a drink til 21 - probably smarter than getting both on the same day.
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