Railroad Hand-Signal Lantern, 1989

Description
This Starlight 222 model lantern was manufactured by the Star Headlight & Lantern Company of Honeoye Falls, New York in 1989. The Star Company replaced their metal lanterns with acrylic plastic lanterns like this one beginning in 1989. This side of this lantern is stamped with the text “PRODUCED IN OUR 100th Year 1889-1989” surrounding the Star Company logo. The lantern has sockets for two bulbs; the bare bulb with reflector below the lantern body was used for signaling while the smaller adjacent bulb makes a focused beam that could be used as a flashlight. The Starlight model was available in several colors with a choice of railroad logos on the side.
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. Hand lantern signals are still used in situations when radio intercommunication is impractical. 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."
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
lantern, hand signal
date made
1989
maker
Star Headlight & Lantern Company
Physical Description
plastic, acrylic (body material)
ID Number
1989.0610.02
accession number
1989.0610
catalog number
1989.0610.02
subject
Plastics
electricity
Railroads
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Work
Communications
Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Comments

"I just bought an orange acrylic Starlite 222 lantern (in Merritt Island, Florida) stamped "Turn on to Safety -- Southern Pacific Lines " on the side. It's in perfect condition and I can't wait to buy a battery for it. My Chamberlin grandparents lived in Honeoye Falls, NY, for decades, so I was tickled to find an item that had been made in that town. It will become a family treasure. "

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