An Air Traffic Signal in Waterbury, Connecticut – 1932

     By the 1930s the age of mechanical flight was barely 30 years old, and aircraft of that era didn’t contain the modern navigational equipment taken for granted on today’s aircraft.  Therefore, aerial traffic signals directing lost flyers came in many forms such as the one erected on Bunker Hill in the town of Waterbury, Connecticut, in 1932.  

     In April of 1932 it was announced that the newly formed Boy Scout Aeronautic Club of Waterbury planned to aid lost aviators by building a “traffic signal” of sorts atop of Bunker Hill in their town.  The plan was to utilize an open field off Bunker Hill Avenue to create a sign made of stones laid out on the ground stating the name “Waterbury”, above which would be a stone arrow 30 to 40 feet long pointing towards the city.  The stones were to be painted bright chrome yellow to cause them to stand out against the landscape. 

     In addition, beneath the Waterbury sign would be another 30 foot arrow, 8 feet wide, pointing towards Bethany, Connecticut, with “Bethany” spelled out in abbreviated letters.  (Bethany was the nearest airport.)  

     It was further reported that similar signs were planned for the towns of Hopeville and Prospect, which would be created by other Boy Scout troops.  

     Prior to the creation of the Bunker Hill signage, there had been a similar sign painted on the roof of the state armory in Watertown.  The Boy Scout sign, it was thought, would be an vast improvement over the old one. 


     The Waterbury Democrat, “Boy Scouts Plan Erection Of Site At Bunker Hill”, April 7, 1932, pg. 9

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