I originally posted this information on my old website on March 26, 2009, and last updated it on December 18, 2009.
The Magnetic Flagman "Wig-Wag" crossing signal was a common grade crossing signal before the modern crossbuck became a standard and flashing lights and gates were mandated. This type of signal was manufactured by the Magnetic Signal Company of Los Angeles, California from 1910 to 1949. It takes its name from the movement it makes; the black and white banner with the red light in the middle swings, or "wig-wags" back and forth simulating that a human flagman would make with a flag or lantern to stop traffic. The signal also features a bell. There were several version of the wig-wag made; all the ones on this page are Model 3 lower-quadrant signals, which were the most common in Oregon. There were a number of these signals remaining in service into the 2000s, but in 2006, after receiving federal funding, the State of Oregon announced plans to replace the remaining wig-wags on freight lines, and by 2008 most if not all had been removed, leaving only two on the Willamette Shore Trolley Line plus those on static display or in museums. The following posts showcase a few of Oregon's wigwags (and one from Washington), some of which are no longer there. For more information on wig-wags, visit Dan's Wig-wag Site.
Dan's Wig-wag Site
Continued in Next Post…