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ESSCO - Eagle Signal and Sign COmpany

ESSCO - Eagle Signal Sales COmpany, Moline, Il.

Essco Manufacturing Company of Peoria, IL.

A subsidiary of the Gamewell Corporation of New York who later merged with Harrington-Seaberg and eventually became Eagle Signals Corp.

Eagle Signals was one of the largest and most successful signal manufacturers and continue to do business to this day. Subsequently there is a great deal of history and information to be processed for them. I will post information to this section piecemeal and eventually clean it up and format it at a later date. --Ed T. 14:33, 29 April 2008 (EDT)

From a post on forums by user 'Fully Actuated':

I have seen historical ads that read "Essco of Peoria, IL...a Harrington-Seaberg Company of Newton, MA" That is a part of their history which is still cloudy for me. However it is apparent that Essco and Harrington-Seaberg were for a period of time operating under one umbrella. Harrington was a fire alarm equipment manufacturer before it allied with Seaberg. (I collect fire alarm boxes too.) Another curiousity is that Newton, MA was the home of Gamewell, another fire alarm equipment manufacturer. Trying to determine the exact chronology of who owned who and when has been a challenge.

An important consideration in the challenge to determine chronology of ownership is that this was during the Depression and Post-Depression era of the late 20's early 30's. Lots of companies were going broke and folding and others were merging to stay alive. This was also the era of corporate monopolies where there was very lax enforcement of anti-trust laws. A few companies "covertly" owned other companies as fronts to edge out competition. (ADT and Gamewell eventually were busted by the feds for anti-trust violations.)

Which brings us to the modern era. In 1964 E.W. Bliss bought Eagle Signal and they moved from Moline, IL to Davenport, IA E.W. Bliss itself was purchased by Gulf + Western within the next few years. G+W subsequently sold Eagle Signal to Wickes in the early 80s. Wickes sold Eagle Signal to Mark IV corporation in 1987 and the company moved from Davenport, IA to Austin, TX. Mark IV got out of transportation equipment and sold Eagle Signal to Siemens around 1997. Siemens ITS continues own Eagle Signal.

Traffic Signals

broken down into general categories [delete]

Four Ways

describe models, variations [delete]


describe models, variations [delete]


Figure: One method of mounting a signal with ornamental bracketry. [Image by LC]

Pedestrian Signals

describe models, variations [delete]

Vehicle Heads (Round)

Vehicle Heads (Square Door Adapters)

Pedestrian/Sign Heads (Rectangular)

Informational Signals and Signs

describe models, variations [delete] includes "box signs," "case signs," and Ped Heads with special [non-ped] lenses.


The mushroom light was an early style traffic signal and speed hump all in one. They were installed in the pavement and resembled a convex sewer grate. Typically they were illuminated red and did not flash. They could be installed in the center of an intersection, or at the entry point of all streets in an intersection. They provided guidance for cars to move through an intersection delivering a sharp bump to any vehicle straying too far or fast from their lane.


Figure: Essco mushroom. [Image by LC]


Figure: Electrical installation sketch of a mushroom on a cobblestone street with a concrete or asphault base. [Image by LC]


Figure: Illustration showing how installation provides for traffic control. The second installation also provides a safety isle for pedestrians. [Image by LC]


describe models, variations [delete]







Different type of controllers [delete]


this would include any kind of mounting hardware including brackets, slipfitters, hangers, bases, etc. [delete]

Miscellaneous Images

some quality pictures (overruns) that didn't flow with the article preceding [delete]


Chicago Engineering Works Review, When Electricity Says "Stop!" and "Go!", Vol. 6 No. 12, April 1926, Student's Department edition.