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

Top Brite
Top International
PO Box 4610
Manchester, NH 03108
Phone: 603-472-3307

Blue Magic Metal Polish Creme
Blue Magic Corporation
Center Street
Santa Ana, CA 92703

KRC-7 available from Chemique Chemicals in Morrestown, NJ.

Tarnex (for silver polishing)

W. J. Hagerty & Sons - full line of silver care products

China Cleaners

Softscrub brand cleaner
(Available at grocery stores)

30-100 volume hydrogen peroxide
(obtainable from hairdressing suppliers).

Custom Globe Production**

Quality Glassblowing
Products and Services
Tim Henthorne
17228 Flint Ridge Rd.
Newark, OH 43056-9455

**Not reproduction marked globes but unmarked odd-sized globes for early lanterns

Lantern and Lamp Parts

Adams & Westlake, Ltd.
PO Box 4524
Elkhart, Indiana 46514
Voice: (219) 264-1141
Fax: (219) 264-1146

Lantern Express (Ebay Store)

Southern Lamp & Supply
4746 US Hwy 441 South
Silva, NC 28779-7135
Phone: 828-631-3088

W.T. Kirkman Oil and Electric lanterns

Paper Archival Supplies and Products

The Archival Company
PO Box 1239
Northampton, MA 01061-1239
fax: 1-800-532-9281
5 Filmoplast (archival tape)

Various archival supplies for conserving paper available from University Products

Various archival supplies for conserving paper available from Light Impressions
PO 940
Rochester, NY 14603-0940

"Westley's" (product)
(Suggested by one veteran collector and dealer as a solution for separating paper materials that have been glued together -- will provide more information on this as we get it.

Plastic Timetable and Paper Sleeves (of various kinds)

Bags Unlimited in Rochester, NY

ULINE 1-800-958-5463.

Restoration Supplies (of various kinds)

Van Dyke Supply Company, Inc.
4th Avenue & 6th Street
Woonsocket, SD 57385-0278
USA Phone: 605-796-4425 Fax: 605-796-4085

A company that sells all types of restoration and archival products, for example, mylar envelopes large enough to hold "horseblanket" style employee timetables, is:
University Products
Holyoke, MA

Rust Removal & Cleaning Services

Softstrip Paint & Coating Removal
1B James Court
Wilmington, DE 19801

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
PO Box 1060
Cartersville, GA 30120-1060
(available at home improvement stores)

Stains on Dining Car Tablecloths

Mixture of water and Oxyclean

Stepstool Pad Replacements

Larry & Doris Krise
24173 US 12 East
Edwardsburg, MI 49112

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 last resort.
Softscrub is less abrasive than Comet but not much. Use on gold rim ware with extreme caution - it will erode.


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.

Brass Items

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).

Silver Items

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.

Rusty Steel

For rust cleaning off plated steel lanterns the most basic cleaner is the powdered toilet cleaner (blue and whiite can) which is Sodium hydrogen sulphate (acts as sulphuric acid). Its in your supermarket near the bleaches. Will pit on extended immersion.After treatment , the item can be dried in an oven after washing (with distilled water to prevent spots) and then spray with a clearcote varnish.

The treatement will also take heavy corrosion off brass but don't leave in too long as it will etch the zinc out over time and leave a copper hue to the item.

There are two ways of looking at rust: Removal - water soluble usually an acid an acid Sulphuric, Phosphoic gel (naval jelly) or hydrofluric acid (way nasty - etches glass). Some of the commercial rust cleaners, often sold to remove rust stains from
cotton, are fluoride (KHF2 a white powder) and are dangerous as they
create non healing sores.

Loosen it up-these are blends of organic solvents (like WD40) and penetrate
locked nuts frozen gears. They do not remove rust.

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 list whose email suggestions have been brazenly stolen for this page.