Railroad Hand-Signal Lantern, ca. 1950s

Description
This railroad hand-signal battery-powered lantern was manufactured by the Economy Electric Lantern Company during the middle of the 20th century. This lantern was used by an employee of the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad. The lantern has a stainless steel body to avoid rust, and a rubber coated handle allowing for better grip during signaling.
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."
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
lantern, hand signal
maker
Economy Lantern Company
ID Number
TR*335323
catalog number
335323
accession number
321812
subject
Transportation
Railroads
Work
Communications
electricity
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.