Railroad Hand-Signal Lantern, 1930s-40s


This railroad hand-signal kerosene lantern was manufactured by the Handlan Manufacturing Company of St. Louis, Missouri around 1930–1940. The lamp was used on the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad. The lamp has a metal body, a red glass globe encircled by protected metal wire, and a metal handle and base. The top of the lamp is inscribed with the Handlan logo and the text “HANDLAN/ST. LOUIS USA.” The red glass globe bears the stamped text “NY NH & H R.R.” which stands for the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad.

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. This lantern with the red globe was used by station agents to signal a train to stop, sometimes to pick up Form 31 train orders.

Maker: Handlan Manufacturing Co.

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: Railroad StationsRailroads


See more items in: Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad, Work, Communications, Transportation


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: William E. Geoghegan

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: TR.335441Accession Number: 321691Catalog Number: 335441

Object Name: lantern, hand signal

Measurements: overall: 14 1/4 in x 8 in x 6 1/4 in; 36.195 cm x 20.32 cm x 15.875 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a5-052e-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_687534

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