30th Street’s Solari Board

The Solari board is an interesting creature.

They’re a form of display board that I most closely associated with railway stations before I started to research them.  One of the more known Solari boards was at Grand Central Station in New York City.  The first time I remember seeing a Solari board was in an old black and white movie that had a scene in a railway station.  No, I don’t remember the movie… just the board updating.

Compared to a digital display, a Soalri board has a personality and some intrigue about it.

How is that possible?

Well, check this out Solari board updating itself and tell me if there’s personality and intrigue in a Solari board compared to a LCD or LED display!

Sorry for the wiggle – this is hand held video taken of the Solari board at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.  Yes, I know, I preach tripod use… but sometimes, you just can’t travel with a tripod…

Why do I say it has personality?

Well, it has sound and action.  It doesn’t flicker – it’s very straightforward and direct.  It’s not like looking at a television or computer display to be told where to go or when to be there.

Why do I say it has intrigue?

Well, it’s like a carnival or casino game in that you don’t know what it’s going to say until it stops and is silent.

According to our friends at Wikipedia, there are exactly eight (8) Solari boards left in the U.S.  You can learn more about Solari boards, which are covered on Wikipedia in an entry called “Split-flap display” by clicking here.

This video is also posted on the Laughing Frog Images YouTube Channel.

The original video was shot in 4K format on a Lumia Icon.  It has been downsampled and reformatted for posting on YouTube.