JeffPo's Dressel Switch Lamp Page

Last update:  03/16/16


This is a railroad switch lamp made by the Dressel company.  It has four large lenses, two signal green and two amber.  The lamp also has day targets (plates) around the lenses.  Since this lamp has amber lenses (as oppose to a red ones), it was probably used in the rail yards to indicate the switch settings.  A main line switch would usually use a red lens.

The lid lifts up to access the fuel fount. This burner accommodates a clear glass chimney to aid in the burning process and to help protect the flame from going out (or so I've been told).  It has a large fuel font for long burning times.  This lamp had to work all night.


Although the lens is aqua blue in natural light, it actually shines with a green glow because of the yellow flame from the kerosene burner.  This was also referred to as a "white" light.  Sometimes these switch lamps would have "day targets" on them, like you see here.  They are basically just round plates that were painted to correspond with the color of the light.  For rail yard switches, a white day target was used with the green lens.  A green signal, or a white plate would indicate the switch is set to straight ahead.


A yellow/amber light or plate would indicate the switch is set to the turnout or siding.

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