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Stop: 1943

Stop: 1943

January 1943. "Indiana Harbor Belt R.R. switchman demonstrating signal with a fusee, used at twilight and dawn when visibility is poor. This signal means stop." Calumet City, Ill. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano. View full size.


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Most railroaders born before 1970 would recognize this universal lamp (or in daylight, by hand motion, without a lamp) as *STOP* or, in vernacular railroadese "washout." Same thing. Doesn't matter whether a fusee or lantern is used; same symbol! And classic Delano imagery.

Railroad flares

Read more about fusees or railroad flares. The article uses the very same picture as an illustration, although much bigger (5275x6999 i.s.o. 1200x1323 pixels), you may see what improvement Shorpy's editing effort brings to us!


I would like to show this to all the Flickr fanbois who think they invented this technique with digital cameras and laser pointers.

Just goes to show that with something as old as photography, it's not easy to come up with new ideas. Digital has not brought much to the table creatively but because of it's supreme convenience has resulted in lots more photos being taken.

Lets hope some of them are still around in 100 years.


Yep. I use to work for Penn Central and what 99% of the people would call a "flare" is a "fusee" in the railroad world.

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