JeffPo's Adlake Bellbottom main line Switch Lamp Page
Last update: 11/05/07
This is a railroad switch lamp made by the Adlake company. This model has a bellbottom design. Instead of a mounting socket on the bottom, it has a tube on each side that would fit on a fork that extended from the railroad switch mechanism. I've added brass lens coupler rings from the Krise Depot to dress the lamp up a bit. I've also added a brass latch spring for the upper lid because the previous one was bent and broken. The lid is also lightly engraved with UPRR which stands for Union Pacific Railroad.
The purpose of the switch lamp was to let the train engineer know which way a particular railroad switch was set. It could be set to be straight ahead, along the railroad line that was being traveled, or it could be set to a railroad siding line.
The fuel fount and burner are what powered the switch lamp. Kerosene was used as the fuel. The wire handle on this one bowed out from the sides. I'm not sure why this one is different from my other one. The glass burner chimney helped to keep the flame from going out and also helped it burn more efficiently.
A red signal would let the train engineer know that the railroad switch was set to the siding. Notice the dent in the lamp body, under the lens? That dent is very deep and is also present in the fuel fount. In fact, it means the fuel fount can only fit one way inside the lamp because now it is "molded" with the lamp. I tried knocking the dent out of the body, but couldn't get it to budge. I'm afraid to hit it too hard. A possible source of the dent might be a rock being thrown up by a passing locomotive. But given how deep it is, and how uniform it is, I suspect someone with a pellet gun might have been getting in some target practice.
A green signal would let the train engineer know that the railroad switch was set to straight ahead. Although this lens appears aqua blue in natural light, the yellow kerosene powered flame would cause it to glow with a green hue.
Union Pacific Railroad
A Union Pacific "Big Boy". One of the largest steam locomotives ever built.
The Union Pacific Railroad (UP) is the largest
railroad network in the
The Union Pacific currently owns and operates track
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