Patent Model of Railroad Signal Lantern, 1867

Summary

Flags and lanterns were the primary means of communication between conductors, brakemen and engineers on American railroads. Different movements and colors indicated different instructions as crews assembled and operated trains. Lanterns with red globes typically were used to signal a train to stop at places like "flag" stations -- where trains did not regularly halt -- and crossings with other railroad lines.

Flags and lanterns were the primary means of communication between conductors, brakemen and engineers on American railroads. Different movements and colors indicated different instructions as crews assembled and operated trains. Lanterns with red globes typically were used to signal a train to stop at places like "flag" stations -- where trains did not regularly halt -- and crossings with other railroad lines.

Artifact

Model (Patent)

Date Made

1867

Subject Date

16 April 1867

Location

Not on exhibit to the public.

Object ID

26.160.27

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of the Smithsonian Institution

Material

Tin (Metal)
Glass (Material)

Dimensions

Height: 14.5 in

Diameter: 6.75 in

Inscriptions

Lantern marked on base: JESUP / MAKER'S / CHICAGO ILL. / L. HOVER'S / PAT.JAN.23.1855 Globe: C.B. & Q.R.R. Patent tag marked: NO. 63820 / A.N. TOWNE / HANDLE FOR SIGNAL LANTERNS / PATENTED APRIL, 16th / 1867.

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