Railroad Station Agent 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 Eastern Shore (Maryland) Lines of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The lamp has a metal body, a blue glass globe encircled by protected metal wire, and a meal handle and base. The top of the lamp is inscribed with the Handlan logo and the text “HANDLAN/ST. LOUIS USA.”

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 blue globe was used by station agents to signal a train to pick up train orders, or to mark equipment that was being worked on and wasn’t to be moved.

Maker: Handlan Manufacturing Co.

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: Railroads, Railroad Stations

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


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: William E. Geoghegan

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: TR.335440Catalog Number: 335440Accession Number: 321691

Object Name: lantern, hand signal

Measurements: overall: 13 7/8 in x 8 1/4 in x 6 5/8 in; 35.2425 cm x 20.955 cm x 16.8275 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-4d24-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_841602

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