Early on the AE&C experimented with methods of telling passengers standing on the platform the destination and class of a train approaching them. The AE&C had a number of trains running between Chicago and Wheaton. During the day, non-rush hour, there were at least 4 trains per hour - 2 local, 1 express, and 1 limited. Passengers requiring a ride on a local would, per chance, arrive at the station ahead of time and board the 1st train going their direction. It may have been the wrong train - an express or limited instead of a local or vice versa.
Of the 2 methods described in a prior post, the round white lamp with the sheet metal flip signs mounted on the dash below the motorman's window seems to have worked out the best. It was applied to other series of cars.
If you examine photos of the era, you will notice what was printed on the signs changed over time. One photo I noticed had a destination city printed on the sheet metal above the round lamp. Apparently at that time, trains operated from Chicago to Wheaton and then to one of the potential destination cities on the Fox River. The sign I saw had "AURORA" printed on it.
More about train operations later in another post.
Exactly how long the "white lamp flip sheet metal destination" signage was used is unknown. When this method was discontinued, the sheet metal was removed and the white lamp housing was painted in the same color as the balance of the car including the glass lens of the lamp. When the glass broke it was replaced with a piece of wood or metal and painted. Over time a few cars had the entire lamp housing removed and replaced with wood.