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by Robert S. Butler
||Signifies safety and is a signal to
proceed. Used for general signaling
between members of the train crew.
||Signifies danger. Used to signal immediate
||Used to indicate reduction in speed.
Yard switchmen used in general duties
on some roads. Also used to signal engineer
for train orders. On some roads the
switch tender would use green lanterns
to signal train movement in one direction
and yellow to signal movement in the
||Signal to go slowly. Used by switch
tenders (see above) also used by wrecking
crews. Wreckmaster would use green lantern
to signal engineer of wreck train. Only
one person per wreck train had custody
and use of such a lantern.
||Night identification for bunkhouse
cars and derails.
||Placed on a car to indicate that it
cannot be moved because of people working
in/around the car.
||Flagstop lantern-indicates train must
stop for passenger or other item. Conductors
used such globes to direct light down
and minimize passenger disturbance when
collecting tickets at night.
||C&NW used as a caution and station
||Conductors lantern-same use as Green/White.
||Used for burning whale or sperm oil.
Usually found on early globes. Heavy
rounded edges were designed to help
control flow of air to the flame.
||Introduced when signal oil began making
inroads on the whale and sperm oil market.
Signal oil, for optimum visibility,
required a smaller burning chamber.
Smallest globe that can be made with
non-heat resistant glass and not break
due to heat.
|4 1/2" & 4 1/4"
||Introduced when kerosene fueled lanterns
began to be produced.
||Designed during WW I for optimum burning
characteristics of kerosene. Push to
convert to kerosene due to a U.S. government
request to minimize the use of edible
fats during the war (signal oil was
partially made from edible animal fats).