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In the shul (synagogue) I went to growing up, and in other shuls I've been to, they had a device for displaying the current page number. It was a wall-mounted box with three windows, behind each of which was shown one digit. You could change each digit independently by turning a wheel at the bottom of the device. The device shown in this video has similar functionality.

I am trying to find such devices for sale but so far getting nowhere. Googling turned up this discussion thread from a few years ago where someone else had the same problem.

Where can such a device be procured? What is it called?

The ideal device would:

  • Display three or four large digits

  • Allow the numbers to be changed on Shabbat

  • Be wall-mounted and controlled from below

  • Operate very quietly, so as not to disrupt prayer in progress

  • Require as little effort, time, and obtrusion to change as possible (For example, advancing a page should mean something like turning a wheel a little, not taking down the sign, removing one number, sticking in another, and putting he sign back up.)

I'm open to products made for this purpose or creative re-purposing of other products. Perhaps this is a product that's more available in Israel or in Chassidish markets and easier to find if you know good Hebrew or Yiddish search terms.

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    I've never seen one in E"Y, or in any chassidish shtibels or shuls (they seem to be mainly for congregations who aren't as fluent in davening, so you're probably less likely to find them there, not more) Feb 25 '18 at 6:03
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    I don't know where you can get one, but R. Moshe Feinstein has a responsum discussing whether this is allowed on Shabbat. Igrot Moshe O.C. 1:135 hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=916&pgnum=227
    – Alex
    Feb 25 '18 at 6:03
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    @Alex, it looks like RMF was talking more about a stand that one would place numbers in, rather than a self-contained device. For what it's worth, the rabbi of my shul growing up was a close student of RMF, and the device was apparently fine with him.
    – Isaac Moses
    Feb 25 '18 at 6:12
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    Consider asking a synagogue that has one.
    – msh210
    Feb 25 '18 at 6:59
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    The latest Jewish Action had an ad for one which appears to just hold cards. I have a feeling that the devices with more sophisticated mechanical mechanisms, like you describe, were popular a generation or two ago in churches as well; at this point the churches have gone to electronic ones, hence a dwindling market.
    – Shalom
    Feb 25 '18 at 9:46
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I think we have got the perfect thing we looked for! A company called "Shul Signs" which is manufacturing many kinds of signs for shuls etc. came out just a while ago with a "Page number Sign" that seems to be the sign we were looking for!! You can see it here: https://www.shulsigns.com/page-number-sign-3. they also have an option of 4 numbers on the sign: https://www.shulsigns.com/aluminum-page-number-sign-4. I heard from a few rabbis who bought it and they are VERY happy with it. Its strong, durable and very nice!

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    Is this really spam though? It's a link to a product that the question specifically asked for. Sep 13 at 17:23
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    We get a lot of spam on Stack Exchange that looks somewhat like this post at first glance - links to an unknown website, explanation of a few different product variations, positive sentiment. But if someone were to look more closely, they would see that your post answers the question as asked. Welcome to Stack Exchange - my previous comment was left for the reviewers who looked like they were about to mistakenly delete your post. I just wanted to be transparent about why I left that comment! Sep 13 at 17:32
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Recently I was at the Jewish Learning Center in Manalapan, NJ. They had in the front a wood contraption, with a dowel going through, and three sets of digits from 0-9. When they wanted to show the page number, someone manually adjusted the digits.

I would imagine this can be made by any carpenter.

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  • Or an avid Lowes shopper +1
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Jun 12 '20 at 14:26

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