A Most Extraordinary Conductor's Lantern

Of the various styles of railroad lanterns, conductors lanterns are generally the most ornate and finely made. Examples can be seen on our conductor's lantern page. However, the lantern shown on this page is extraordinary even by these standards. It was made by Porter & Sons with patent dates of August 3, 1869, June 18, 1871 and January 2, 1884. The most unusual feature of this lantern is the placement of variously colored, cut-glass "jewels" on the lid and base. These "jewels" are set in holes in the metal so that light shines through the ones in the lid when the lantern is lit. In addition, the lantern frame is heavily engraved and so is the green-over-clear globe, which is also engraved.

The current owner got it as part of his grandfather's estate. The grandfather was a conductor on the Texas and Pacific Railway around the turn of the century, and it is his name that is engraved on the globe. Since the lantern is fairly worn, it appears to have been used in service. This beautiful lantern is a treasured family heirloom that the owner intends to keep in the family, and we can see why!

Thanks to Everett Lueck for the information and photos and to the lantern's owner who allowed them to be posted here.