Blade Train Order Signal
Many depots used blade style train order signals to signal passing trains to stop for orders or to proceed.
The shaft on which the blade and lantern were located could be rotated by the agent inside the depot. A bicycle style chain wound on a sprocket on that shaft. One end of the chain was attached to a spring while the other end went into the depot.
Click on these photos from Moline, Kansas, to see enlargements.