This unit was manufactured by the Magnetic Signal Co. and dates back to the 1920’s. Its function was to give warning of an approaching train to vehicles and pedestrians using the grade crossing. When the signal is activated, the “wigwag” banner swings back and forth and a loud bell sounds at the end of the arc. A light behind a 6 1/4” diameter red lens in the center of the banner was illuminated when the unit is activated. The red light is more effective at night
Wigwag Grade Crossing Signal
This particular unit was originally placed at the grade crossing at Hedding Street near 10th in San Jose. SP Signalman James C. Holmes placed it on “permanent loan” to the SBHRS museum in 1989. This signal is operational and when activated, evokes awe or nostalgic feeling from its viewers.