New York City only had 7 of these traffic towers each one manned by a traffic cop that had to manually change the lights
On May 16, 1921 the New York City Board of Estimate approved five new traffic towers to replace original towers along Fifth Avenue at 34th, 38th, 42nd, 50th and 57th Streets. Two more towers were eventually added to the plan and placed at 14th and 26th Streets, making a total of seven towers running up and down Fifth Avenue. The towers would be a gift from The Fifth Avenue Association, but would then be maintained by the city. They were designed by Joseph H. Freedlander and cast by John A. Polachek Bronze and Iron Co. of Long Island City. Each tower was about 24 feet tall, weighed five tons and was built of solid cast bronze on a heavy steel frame.
The towers had electronically synchronized clocks on their north and south faces and 350 pound bronze bells which would toll the hours