JeffPo's Northern Pacific Railway Franken-Lantern Page

Last update:  11/07/12


This is a lantern made by the Adams & Westlake Company (later known as Adlake) for the Northern Pacific Railway.  It is the model known as "The Adams".  The brim of the lid is embossed with N.P.R.R.

This lantern has two oddities, with the first being the reason for me calling it a Franken-lantern.  Looking at the frame, the lantern is obviously a wire based version.  However, someone has replaced the regular fuel fount with a bell-bottom fuel fount.  When I showed this lantern to another collector he called it a "monstrosity".  Clearly it's the wrong fount, but it fits perfectly.  I have no idea if the railroad company would do such a thing (perhaps using whatever they had on hand to replace a damaged fount), or if it was done by someone later in life that just wanted to put a fuel fount on a lantern that was missing the original.

Secondly, the globe isn't a solid red color.  It doesn't even appear to be a flashed globe.  It's a Dietz Vulcan globe (so again, mismatched for the lantern), and it appears someone painted it red on the inside.  What's left of the red paint is flaking off, creating a sparkly mess.

The lantern was sent to me from California by a lady that found it in her late father's possessions, back in the 1980s, though he never worked for the railroad.  It's origin remains a mystery.


Northern Pacific Railway

Northern Pacific train at the depot in Carrington, N.D., in 1948

The Northern Pacific Railway was chartered in July of 1864.  It was formed with the goal of connecting the Great Lakes area with the Puget Sound area on the Pacific Ocean.  Building began in 1870, with the railroad pushing from Minnesota into the territory that would become North Dakota.  The trackage was extensive, through Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.  Former president Ulysses S. Grant drove in the final "golden spike" in central Montana in September of 1883.  The Northern Pacific was also known for itís passenger service, operating the famous North Coast Limited.  The Northern Pacific maintained and continuously upgraded its equipment and service, developing large steam engines.  They were also among the first railroads to adopt diesel power. 

In 1970 it merged with other lines to form the Burlington Northern Railroad.  In 1996, the Burlington Northern merged with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway to form the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway (later renamed BNSF Railway).  The BNSF was purchased in 2009 by the Berkshire Hathaway company..

Northern Pacific train traveling over Bozeman Pass in June of 1939

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