Questions & Answers
Buying & Selling
Parts and Restoration Sources
Here is a list of sources, products and other information for restoring and maintaining railroad antiques and collectibles. The list is based on suggestions from various collectors and does not constitute a commercial endorsement of any kind. Please note the "legalese" footnotes at the bottom of the page -- the "fine print" but important.
A separate page lists cleaning and restoration tips that have been suggested by collectors. Also see our lantern restoration page.
Suggestions and additions are welcomed (see mail-to link at the bottom of the page), although we reserve the right to decide what may be included in this list. Please provide as much detailed information as possible so that others might be able to find the product or service. Some of this detail is sketchy below but will be added as we get it.
Brass and Metal Polishing Products
Blue Magic Metal Polish Creme
KRC-7 available from Chemique Chemicals in Morrestown, NJ.
Tarnex (for silver polishing)
W. J. Hagerty & Sons - full line of silver care products
Softscrub brand cleaner
30-100 volume hydrogen peroxide
Custom Globe Production**
**Not reproduction marked globes but unmarked odd-sized globes for early lanterns
Lantern and Lamp Parts
Adams & Westlake, Ltd.
Lantern Express (Ebay Store)
Southern Lamp & Supply
W.T. Kirkman Oil and Electric lanterns
Paper Archival Supplies and Products
The Archival Company
Various archival supplies for conserving paper available from University
Various archival supplies for conserving paper available from Light Impressions
Plastic Timetable and Paper Sleeves (of various kinds)
Bags Unlimited in Rochester, NY
Restoration Supplies (of various kinds)
A company that sells all types of restoration and archival products, for
example, mylar envelopes large enough to hold "horseblanket" style
employee timetables, is:
Rust Removal & Cleaning Services
Softstrip Paint & Coating Removal
Rust Removers Chemicals
Super Iron-Out - Stain and Rust Remover
Kroil (made by Kano Labs) for "unfreezing rusted parts
Chesterton Spraysolvo for "unfreezing rusted parts
Zep Commercial Calcium, Lime & Rust Stain Remover
Stains on Dining Car Tablecloths
Mixture of water and Oxyclean
Stepstool Pad Replacements
Larry & Doris Krise
Restoration and Preservation Tips
Use 30-100 volume hydrogen peroxide (obtainable from hairdressing suppliers).
This is non abrasive and non corrosive - abrasive should be used as a
To remove mold from hardback book covers, use a little straight bleach on a rag. Use a small amount and don't let the bleach sit on the the cover for any length of time.
For non-plated brass or bronze items, use a diluted solution of Muriatic acid, available at many hardware stores. Mix the acid with water in a 30% to 70% ratio, take a rag, dip it, and rub the item lightly. Wear gloves and goggles. [Thanks to Matt Baumgartner] . There is also a brass-cleaning method developed by Dave Thorpe and described on our lantern restoration page (look toward the bottom of the page).
Polishing silver items: In a non-aluminum pan, add a piece of aluminum foil, water and baking soda. Bring the water to a boil and place the item in the water. You only need to boil for a minute or so. The water foams as it removes the tarnish. If the water stops foaming and there is still tarnish, add more baking soda or a fresh water/soda combo. [Thanks to Jim Stover]
Peroxide also cleans glass, but never use lye on glass - it will etch it.
Also see Lantern Restoration information on a separate page.
(1) Most importantly, use this information at your own risk. A product or service listing here does not constitute an endorsement or guarantee in any way.
(2) Nothing listed here represents a paid endorsement, nor is there a commercial tie-in of any kind.
(3) Some of the products here can be hazardous. Use with precautions and at your own risk.
(4) Suggestions are welcomed but please note that we reserve the right to decide what may be listed.
Acknowledgments: Thanks to Dave Waite, Matt Baumgartner, Rob Hoffer, Tom Coughlin, David Stover and everyone else who has provided information, especially to the members of the railnet.nshore.org list whose email suggestions have been brazenly stolen for this page.