Americans have always been a people on the move—on rails, roads, and waterways (for travel through the air, visit the National Air and Space Museum). In the transportation collections, railroad objects range from tools, tracks, and many train models to the massive 1401, a 280-ton locomotive built in 1926. Road vehicles include coaches, buggies, wagons, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and automobiles—from the days before the Model T to modern race cars. The accessories of travel are part of the collections, too, from streetlights, gas pumps, and traffic signals to goggles and overcoats.
In the maritime collections, more than 7,000 design plans and scores of ship models show the evolution of sailing ships and other vessels. Other items range from scrimshaw, photographs, and marine paintings to life jackets from the Titanic.
"Transportation - Overview" showing 1 items.
- This railroad hand-signal kerosene lantern was manufactured by the Adams & Westlake Company of Chicago, Illinois around 1870. Adlake was a major equipment supplier to railroads during the Westward expansion. The lantern is made of metal with a wire frame protecting the glass globe. The globe has the frosted name “J.H. Barrelle” in the center, surrounded by frosted glass floral designs. J.H. Barrelle was an agent for the Milwaukee Railroad, living in South Dakota in 1881, who likely used this hand-signal lantern.
- Before the advent of portable two way radios, train crews communicated via hand signals during the day, and lantern signals during periods of low visibility or at night. Specific motions of the lantern convey precise instructions such as “Clear to Depart;" "Move the train Forward;" "Move the train Backward;" "Slow Down;" "Slow Down Further;" or "Stop and Remain Stopped."
- Currently not on view
- date made
- Adams & Westlake Company
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- catalog number
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- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center