Electric switch lantern? No. 2
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Sun Sep 11 08:58:20 EDT 2016
Thanks for the information fellas.
From: NW-Mailing-List [mailto:nw-mailing-list-bounces at nwhs.org] On Behalf Of NW Mailing List
Sent: Wednesday, September 7, 2016 10:15 AM
To: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
Subject: RE: Electric switch lantern? No. 2
To answer Mr. Rineair's question...
My GUESS is that the sequence was as follows.
1. The Peter Gray Bostons appear to have been the earliest.
2. Followed by the Adlakes, of which Mr. Blackstock provided a photograph.
3. Followed by the cast iron "cannonball" type furnished by WRRS (Western Rail Road Supply Co.)
In the attached photo, the WRRS "cannonball" type is shown at right. Its advbantage was that the body was maintenance free, once installed. The lens retaining rings were stainless steel and did not rust, and even if the paint weathered off the bodies, they were cast iron and would not rust away. So the only real maintenance was replacing the lamp as needed, and replacing the battery (if used.) After electric switch markers came around, no one wiped the lenses, and they were filthy with accumulted grime.
My memories are more than a half-century old, but I think I recall about as many of Mr. Blackstock's Adlakes as of the Peter Gray Bostons. But by the time I came around, the WRRS "cannonballs" far outnumbered both the earlier types.
Wish I had taken more photographs of the work-a-day ingredients of railroading (lamps, signals, structures, and even people.) But back then, we were pretty uninformed and most cameras were trained only on lokies. Now that the good stuff is gone, it is too late.
(As an exercise, take a walk through some of Lucius Beebe's early books. All lokie shots, all from the same boring angle. All devoid of context like buildings, people, other scenery. And therefore all looking the same. After six or seven pages, you put the book back on the shelf The most interesting railroad photographs are those which provide context and orientation, which serve as a matrix for interpretation. End of sermon, end of rant... back to sleep! )
-- abram burnett
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