Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mystery History -- Solved!

Bellis wins with her 3:55 a.m. Tuesday guess "The first traffic signal in Pasadena? I'm guessing the year could be 1910 or thereabouts, and the location Fair Oaks and Colorado."

The photo above was one of many taken to document the installation of new traffic signals in downtown Pasadena. Unfortunately the year and specific intersection are not identified.

Here's the best guess as to the date, according to Pasadena Public Library research staff:
This photo was taken for the Pasadena Water and Power Department (then called the Power Department), most likely to record the installation of new traffic signals. Although we can be certain that it was taken in Old Town Pasadena, the background is too blurry to suggest a definite location and date. However, one can reasonably use photo 5002 to establish a date for this photo. The two photos were clearly taken at the same time for the same purpose. Interestingly, photo 5002 also displays the same police officer so prominent in this photo.

And here's photo 5002, at Colorado Street and Fair Oaks Avenue:

The most recent traffic signal at the intersection of Madison Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard was installed in May 2011 as part of an ongoing citywide effort to enhance pedestrian safety.

There was a big celebration in the street that day, followed by practice in safe street-crossing for the students at Madison School, which is just around the corner.

Here are children learning about the inner workings of traffic signals that day. That's Fred Dock, director of the Transportation Department, behind City Councilman Victor Gordo.

Learn more about pedestrian safety here.

Many thanks to Pasadena Public Library and Vannia De La Cuba.


Susan Campisi said...

Nice job, Bellis!

Bellis said...

I'm thrilled to have won! But I'm still wondering what year it was - perhaps you accidentally left that bit out?

It's interesting to see what those early traffic signals looked like, and how busy the town center was. I think it looks better now, without those overhead wires and tram tracks.

Jonathan said...

I'd love to see those overhead wires and tram tracks return. They aren't particularly pretty, but I think that they have a certain charm, and the convenience and environmental benefits of a streetcar system would be terrific!

Patrizzi Intergarlictica said...

We love the stop signal on Orange Grove and Madison. Thank you!

Bellis said...

Hope that by the time you read this you'll be feeling much better, Ann. We miss you.