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‘Wombat crossing’ (childrens crossing) sign

Made by 1999-2000

This sign has potential for display in exhibitions about the city landscape, advertising and the urban environment. Its significance is located in its design and use as a visual communication tool. It is a pointer to the diversity of use in the city, and of the growing demands placed on our urban environment.

Road signs are now ubiquitous in our urban environment, linked to the development and spread in the twentieth century of motor vehicles and the services that grew to support them. In the ...

Summary

Object No.

2010/55/6

Object Statement

Road sign, 'Wombat Crossing' (Children's crossing), painted aluminium, made by Artcraft for the Roads and Traffic Authority, Australia, 1999-2000

Physical Description

Road sign, 'Wombat Crossing' (Children's crossing), painted aluminium, made by Artcraft for the Roads and Traffic Authority, Australia, 1999-2000

This white sign has pictured on it of three green ants holding up a red sign showing the words 'Wombat crossing' in yellow. Then in black text from top to bottom, 'STOP at the line' with a graphic of a red echidna stopping at a yellow line, 'LOOK' with a graphic of a brown kangaroo looking 'LISTEN' with the graphic of a grey Koala listening, 'WAIT' until it is safe to cross' featuring a brown possum, 'WALK and keep looking and listening' with the graphic of a brown platypus.
The RTA logo appears on the bottom left corner.

Dimensions

Height

420 mm

Width

300 mm

Production

Made

1999-2000

Notes

Made by Artcraft.

History

Notes

This sign is part of the collection borrowed from the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) in 2001 for display in the exhibition 'Ecologic: creating a sustainable future' .

There is a continuum of signage starting with Roman milestones, massive tall columns that showed travellers how far they were from Rome and what direction they should follow. During the Middle Ages street signs became more advanced and many intersections in European countries had signs pointing the way to cities and towns, sometimes including distances.

Early in the 20th century, the combination of signs for cyclists, weight restriction signs, and direction signs erected by local authorities meant that there were about 4,000 different signs on British roads. They were not of standard design, there were no regulations to restrict their use, and they were becoming so common that they were ignored by road users! Motorists needed more warning signs, as they could travel much faster than cyclists and horses.
In 1903, the Motor Car Act made legislative provision for local authorities to erect their own warning signs.

In 1908 the International Road Congress met in Rome to discuss signage on European roads. Out of this meeting came four pictorial signs that were to be displayed noting road conditions. The first four road signs in modern times were the 'bump', 'curve', 'intersection', and 'railroad crossing' signs. These four signs constituted the first European road signage system.

The intensive work on international road signs that took place between 1926 and 1949 eventually led to the development of the European road signage system. The United States developed its own road signage system, which was also adopted by several other nations. Beginning in the 1960s, North American signage began adopting international symbols and signs into its system.

With increasing speed of transport, the tendency is for countries to adopt pictorial signs or otherwise simplify and standardise signs, to facilitate international travel where language differences can create barriers and in general to reduce the risks in driving. Such pictorial signs use symbols in place of words and are usually a result of international standards. Such signs were first developed in Europe and been adopted by most countries to varying degrees.
New generations of traffic signs are based on big electronic displays that can also change their symbols and provide intelligent behaviour by means of sensors or by remote control. These "road beacon systems" are based on the use of RFID transponders buried in the asphalt to allow for on-board signalling and interaction between the car and the road.

Yet another way of transferring information ordinarily associated with visible signs is RIAS Remote Infared Audible Signage for print -handicapped (including blind/low-vision/illiterate) people. These are infra-red transmitters serving the same purpose as the usual graphic signs when received by an appropriate device such as a hand-held receiver or one built into a cell phone.



References
1p 77, Cass, Terry, Thematic history of Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA), Roads and Traffic Authority, 2006

Further reading
Cass, Terry Thematic history of Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA), http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/environment/downloads/heritage/rta_thematic_history.pdf

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA), 2010

Acquisition Date

17 August 2010

Cite this Object

Harvard

'Wombat crossing' (childrens crossing) sign 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 November 2019, <https://ma.as/397989>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/397989 |title='Wombat crossing' (childrens crossing) sign |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=21 November 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in EcoLogic at the Powerhouse Museum.

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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