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Signals Collection

"Unveiling the Art of Signals: A Journey through Time and Technology" Step into the fascinating world of signals, where human ingenuity meets technological marvels

Background imageSignals Collection: Poster produced for British Railways (BR), showing a railway worker manually operating

Poster produced for British Railways (BR), showing a railway worker manually operating the signals in the Greenwood signal box, New Barnet, London

Background imageSignals Collection: Reading Signal Works, Clock Shop, 1969

Reading Signal Works, Clock Shop, 1969
The GWR owned and operated thousands of clocks and watches. These were maintained at the GWR Reading Signal Works

Background imageSignals Collection: Leominster Station, Herefordshire, 27th June 1950

Leominster Station, Herefordshire, 27th June 1950
A view of Leominster Station in Herefordshire, taken on 27th June 1950. The image shows the platforms, signals, footbridge and signal box

Background imageSignals Collection: The HMS Victory - brought in to Portsmouth Harbour

The HMS Victory - brought in to Portsmouth Harbour
The HMS Victory - in Portsmouth Harbour. Fitted up as a Naval School of Telegrapha before becoming a floating signal school proper (as can be seen on this card) until 1904

Background imageSignals Collection: Steam locomotive Sir Nigel Gresley, Welwyn Garden City

Steam locomotive Sir Nigel Gresley, Welwyn Garden City
Steam locomotive 60007, Sir Nigel Gresley, near the Welwyn Garden City tunnel. It was built in 1937, and is still preserved today. Date: circa 1960s

Background imageSignals Collection: Synapse nerve junction, TEM

Synapse nerve junction, TEM
Synapse. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a synapse, a junction between two nerve cells, in the brain. At a synapse an electrical signal is transmitted from one cell to the next in

Background imageSignals Collection: Railway crossing at Newcastle-on-Tyne

Railway crossing at Newcastle-on-Tyne
View of the railway crossing at Newcastle-on-Tyne -- claimed to be the largest crossing in the world. Date: circa early 20th century

Background imageSignals Collection: Castle class 4-6-0 locomotive, No 5082 Swordfish, leaving Scours Lane hauling the 11

Castle class 4-6-0 locomotive, No 5082 Swordfish, leaving Scours Lane hauling the 11:15am Padington to Bristol, 1953. This locomotive was originaly named Paris Castle

Background imageSignals Collection: Staff of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway demonstrating hand signals. Photograph

Staff of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway demonstrating hand signals. Photograph taken by a Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway official photographer

Background imageSignals Collection: Railway Crossing - Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Railway Crossing - Newcastle-upon-Tyne - an absolutely stunning photographic composition, shot in the misty light of the early morning. Engineering works are still in progress!

Background imageSignals Collection: Eve Adamised 1927

Eve Adamised 1927
Eve Adamised : new woman in a liberated age dons male attire of suit & tie with hair in an Eton crop, but signals her gender with make-up, earings & a cigarette holder

Background imageSignals Collection: Rail Operations Centre

Rail Operations Centre
A British Rail operations and track maintenance centre

Background imageSignals Collection: The Railway Junction

The Railway Junction. A signal changing from stop to go. This is a classic British semaphore stop signal (lower quadrant type)

Background imageSignals Collection: Traffic Police Officer

Traffic Police Officer
Traffic police officer giving stop signal number 2. Metropolitan police

Background imageSignals Collection: Draycott, Cotswold village, Blockley Station

Draycott, Cotswold village, Blockley Station, on the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway, viewed from the south-east. Date: circa 1917

Background imageSignals Collection: Didcot Station, Oxfordshire, c. 1950s

Didcot Station, Oxfordshire, c. 1950s
A view of Didcot station in Oxfordshire, c.1950s. The station is quiet with the platforms empty of traffic and passengers

Background imageSignals Collection: Sailors demonstrating flag semaphore system

Sailors demonstrating flag semaphore system

Background imageSignals Collection: Arecibo message and decoded key C016 / 6817

Arecibo message and decoded key C016 / 6817
Arecibo message and decoded key. Diagram showing the binary transmission (left) known as the Arecibo message, with the message decoded and labelled at centre and right

Background imageSignals Collection: Royal Navy sailor with Union Jack and Red Ensign flags

Royal Navy sailor with Union Jack and Red Ensign flags. circa 1900

Background imageSignals Collection: Southport, Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. View from Chapel Street station signal box

Southport, Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. View from Chapel Street station signal box, looking towards St Lukes station. May 1919

Background imageSignals Collection: Railwayman - 180 lever railway signal box at Shrewsbury

Railwayman - 180 lever railway signal box at Shrewsbury
A railwayman walks across the tracks to the 180 lever railway signal box at Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. First published The Daily Telegraph Date: 1991

Background imageSignals Collection: Newcastle upon Tyne Railway Crossing - Castle - Tyne Bridge

Newcastle upon Tyne Railway Crossing - Castle - Tyne Bridge
Newcastle upon Tyne Railway Crossing (then the largest crossing of its type in the world) Newcastle Castle and distant misty view of the Tyne Bridge (which opened in 1928). Date: circa 1930

Background imageSignals Collection: Queen Mary Ocean Liner, whistles used for signalling

Queen Mary Ocean Liner, whistles used for signalling
Queen Marys three giant whistles two on the fore funnel and one on the midships funnel, were fitted. Each were seven feet in length, and could be heard five miles away, but so low pitched

Background imageSignals Collection: Castle Pill railway, near Milford Haven, South Wales

Castle Pill railway, near Milford Haven, South Wales
View of the Great Western Railway at Castle Pill (pill is a local name for a tidal inlet), near Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, South Wales

Background imageSignals Collection: Completion of the new Earls Court station, London

Completion of the new Earls Court station, London
Completion of the new Earls Court underground station, London. Top: an illuminated train indicator which shows trains in motion. Middle: the new flyover junction

Background imageSignals Collection: Little boy on rocking horse

Little boy on rocking horse
A rather superior looking little boy dressed in a tartan kilt and Scottish velvet jacket rides on a rocking horse. In the background are a toy castle, a model train engine with signals

Background imageSignals Collection: Woman walking through security gate, carrying bag, contents made visible

Woman walking through security gate, carrying bag, contents made visible

Background imageSignals Collection: The Naze Tower, Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex

The Naze Tower, Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex
The Naze Tower at Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex. An historic landmark, it was built on the cliffs in 1721 by Trinity House as a navigation mark to guide shipping

Background imageSignals Collection: Synapse nerve junctions, SEM

Synapse nerve junctions, SEM
Synapse nerve junctions. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of nerve cells showing the synapses (junctions, bulges) between them

Background imageSignals Collection: Ethiopia / Call to War

Ethiopia / Call to War
Smoke signals summon the country-men to join their regiments as Ethiopia prepares for war

Background imageSignals Collection: Electric Signal Box

Electric Signal Box
The all-electric signal-box outside Waterloo Station, London

Background imageSignals Collection: CLAUDE CHAPPE 1763-1805

CLAUDE CHAPPE 1763-1805
CLAUDE CHAPPE French Engineer. Invented a telegraph system employing visual semaphore signals. With his brother, he erected signals between Paris & Lille

Background imageSignals Collection: Signal Box 1940S

Signal Box 1940S
A signal box at Kingston showing a hand-operated frame

Background imageSignals Collection: Lookout man operating signalling lamp, Croydon Airport

Lookout man operating signalling lamp, Croydon Airport
Lookout man operating signalling lamp from the Control Tower, Croydon Airport Date: 1930s

Background imageSignals Collection: A steam locomotive belonging to the Tanfield Railway Company steams along the Museums

A steam locomotive belonging to the Tanfield Railway Company steams along the Museums line in Stanley, County Durham on 7th April 1988

Background imageSignals Collection: Vignette illustration, Railway Ribaldry by W Heath Robinson

Vignette illustration, Railway Ribaldry by W Heath Robinson -- An early and interesting type of signal. Date: 1935

Background imageSignals Collection: Thornhill Midland Junction, Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. View of the junction

Thornhill Midland Junction, Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. View of the junction, showing the Calder Valley line from Manchester to Wakefield

Background imageSignals Collection: Signal Room 1940S

Signal Room 1940S
A signal box at Surbiton for the Southern Railway

Background imageSignals Collection: Traffic Police Officer

Traffic Police Officer
Traffic police officer giving stop signal number 1 and 2. Metropolitan police

Background imageSignals Collection: Strike / Volunteer Signals

Strike / Volunteer Signals
An undergraduate volunteer in a railway signal box during the General Strike

Background imageSignals Collection: Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) standing up on hind legs, barrier island outside Kaktovik

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) standing up on hind legs, barrier island outside Kaktovik, Alaska, USA. September

The system of signalling by flag semaphore
5616529 The system of signalling by flag semaphore; (add.info.: Illustration depicting the system of signaling by flag semaphore the telegraphy system)

Background imageSignals Collection: Illustration showing a British soldier signalling with a heliograph

Illustration showing a British soldier signalling with a heliograph. Heliographs were used during the Zulu
5311587 Illustration showing a British soldier signalling with a heliograph. Heliographs were used during the Zulu, Afghan and South African campaigns

The new world, the discovery of the Americas: Margaret of Roberval. after being shipwrecked
5313680 The new world, the discovery of the Americas: Margaret of Roberval. after being shipwrecked. tries to draw the attention of some boats to the sea making signals with a fire

Background imageSignals Collection: The French military using Heliostat signals, 1850

The French military using Heliostat signals, 1850
3480164 The French military using Heliostat signals, 1850; (add.info.: Illustration depicting the French military using Heliostat signals. Dated 19th Century.); Universal History Archive/UIG.

Background imageSignals Collection: Illustration showing a Mance Heliograph, a wireless solar telegraph that signals by flashes of

Illustration showing a Mance Heliograph, a wireless solar telegraph that signals by flashes of sunlight
5311590 Illustration showing a Mance Heliograph, a wireless solar telegraph that signals by flashes of sunlight (generally using Morse code) reflected by a mirror

Background imageSignals Collection: An engraving depicting a double-needle telegraph used in the House of Parliament

An engraving depicting a double-needle telegraph used in the House of Parliament
5311158 An engraving depicting a double-needle telegraph used in the House of Parliament. The letters of the alphabet and a variety of conventional signals indicated by single

Background imageSignals Collection: The system of signalling by flag semaphore

The system of signalling by flag semaphore
5616527 The system of signalling by flag semaphore; (add.info.: Illustration depicting the system of signaling by flag semaphore the telegraphy system)



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"Unveiling the Art of Signals: A Journey through Time and Technology" Step into the fascinating world of signals, where human ingenuity meets technological marvels. This captivating poster, produced for British Railways in 1969, showcases a railway worker skillfully operating signals by hand, and is a testament to their dedication and expertise in ensuring safe journeys along the tracks. In Reading Signal Works' Clock Shop, time intertwines with precision as every tick synchronizes with the movement of trains. The year 1969 marks an era when manual operations still played a vital role in railway signaling systems. Delving deeper into the intricate workings of our nervous system, we encounter synapse nerve junctions captured under a TEM microscope. These tiny connections enable lightning-fast communication within our bodies—a remarkable parallel to how signals guide trains on their routes. The majestic HMS Victory sails triumphantly into Portsmouth Harbour, reminding us that even grand vessels rely on precise signaling to navigate treacherous waters safely. Just like railways depend on well-coordinated signals for smooth sailing across vast networks. Leominster Station stands frozen in time on June 27th, 1950—an emblematic moment showcasing how hand-operated levers controlled train movements meticulously. The steam locomotive Sir Nigel Gresley from Welwyn Garden City chugs forward gracefully—its power harnessed by skilled engineers who masterfully interpret these visual cues. No less impressive is No 5082 Swordfish—a Castle class locomotive departing Scours Lane hauling eleven carriages behind it. Hand signals demonstrated by staff from Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway exemplify the importance of clear communication between those responsible for guiding these mighty machines safely along their tracks. As we approach a railway crossing at Newcastle-on-Tyne or witness its counterpart at Newcastle-upon-Tyne—the significance of proper signalization becomes evident once again. Ensuring harmony between road traffic and rail transport demands meticulous coordination and adherence to signals.