JeffPo's Brass Plated Conductor Lantern Page
Last update: 11/04/15
This is a brass plated conductor lantern made by the Adams & Westlake Company (later known as Adlake). Conductor lanterns, sometimes called presentation lanterns, were used by conductors on passenger trains. Back in the late 1800s and the first part of the 1900s, travel by train was a luxurious experience. Passengers were pampered and the décor was sometimes extravagant. The conductor lantern was a more ornate type of lantern that showed the status of not only the conductor, but also of the passengers he served. This lantern has the typical bell bottom that you normally see. Sometimes these lanterns would have a wire bottom. These type lanterns date from the last quarter or so of the 1800s, to the first decade or so of the 1900s.
The lantern has a clear globe. It's a special globe made specifically for the conductor lantern. It's taller than a typical short globe that would on an Adlake style lantern, but shorter than a typical tall globe that would be on an older lantern, like a Reliable model. Some conductor lanterns came with a dual color globe, with green on top and clear on the bottom. The green portion would cut the glare that might shine in a passenger’s eyes as the conductor checks a ticket, or lights a step or path. Sometimes the globe would be decorated with ornamental lettering cut or etched into the glass, usually indicating the owner of the lantern rather than the initials of the railroad.
The fuel fount drops out of the bottom of the lantern. Or more specifically, this one screws out of the bottom. Because the wick adjustment wheel is on the inside of the globe when the fount is inserted, the height of the flame must be adjusted with the fount out of the lantern.
This lantern is similar to my nickel plated conductor lantern that was used in Pullman Palace Cars.
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