This is an authentic hand-held stop sign that was used at railroad crossings. When a train approached, a watchman posted at a railroad crossing would walk into the road, waving the sign to alert drivers and stop oncoming traffic until the train had passed.
This sign dates to the early days before modern crossing gates became widely used. Very likely it was meant for a dangerous intersection where the presence of a real person could make a significant difference preventing collisions. Because of its size it would have meant business, helping the Flagman demand obedience from motorists who might not realize a locomotive was approaching and try to go around him.
The black trim and lettering is all hand painted. The letters are full 5 inches tall.
SIZE: Made of 1/16" sheet steel attached to a wooden handle, it is 16 inches wide. Note the long flat steel strap that attaches to the handle -- the circle is bolted to that strap (as shown on one side).
CONDITION: Just the way collectors are hoping for -- solid and sound, with a good amount of use that adds character but NO damage that affects anything. The use marks actually add interest -- what stories this old piece could tell! There is some paint chipping and rubs down to bare metal, but there are NO splits, NO dents, NO cracks, and the handle is fastened to the metal as tightly as ever. The white paint has age darkened a bit and taken on just a tiny tinge of yellowing, instead of being the bright-white it was when new.
This is a terrific find -- most of these old hand held warnings are impossibly beaten up and damaged, and many have not survived in any condition.
What a terrific item to add atmosphere to any train room or sign collection !
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