Adams & Westlake "Kero" Lanterns: I

Of the true short-globe lantern manufacturers, The Adams & Westlake Company or "A&W" had a dominant share of the market. A&W introduced its first short globe model, the "#200 Kero " around 1921. The lid of the "#200 Kero" was identical to that of the company's popular "Reliable" tall-globe lantern, the version that collectors refer to as having a "three-piece top". In the mid 1920's, A&W introduced the "#250 Kero" short-globe lantern, which was substantially the same as the "#200 Kero " but with some improvements such as a better burner. Around 1930, A&W released its final short-globe design, simply called the "Kero", alternately referred to as a "#300" or "#400", depending on the size of the burner. The "Kero" model was very popular and still remains in production although for novelty or souvenir use rather than actual railroad use.  In fact, "Kero's" can be found with "Penn Central" and "Burlington Northern" markings, both modern railroad names (historically speaking). For more on the Kero, see A&W Kero's: The Last Stand and A&W Hertiage Lanterns by Ted Douthitt Jr. and Jerry Gorzoch.

Above Left and Left: Adams & Westlake "#200" short-globe lantern marked "B. & O. R.R." (Baltimore & Ohio Railroad) with a clear cast globe. This lantern was the first short globe model from A&W and was introduced in 1921. The rigid bail was not "standard" for this model. Above Center:  Adams & Westlake "#250" short-globe lantern marked "N.P. Ry." (Northern Pacific Railway)  with a amber etched globe.  The #250 was substantially the same as the #200, the most notable difference being the burner which was also marked "No. 250". This model was manufactured from around 1926 to around 1930 and was succeeded by the "Kero". Above Right: Adams & Westlake "Kero" short globe lantern marked "N.P. Ry." (Northern Pacific Railway) with a clear cast globe.  These were very popular lanterns with the railroads and are currently rather easy to find.   More than 100 railroad markings have been documented on Kero's, from the big Class I's to shortlines. Until the mid '60's or so, A&W marked them with a date on the bottom, here 2-39 (2nd Quarter, 1939). Below from left to right: The tops of the #200 Kero, #250 Kero, and a bare version of the Kero.

Above Right:  Adams & Westlake "Kero" short globe lantern marked "B.& O. R.R." (Baltimore & Ohio Railroad) with a clear cast globe and an "engine base" - the heavy ring at the bottom.  This base was intended as extra weight to keep the lantern on the engine. According to a veteran of steam locomotive operations, "[steam locomotives] shake, rumble, vibrate, pitch and buck in all directions. A regular-base lightweight lantern would likely jump overboard quickly without help from anybody." The date on this lantern is 3-63 (3rd Quarter, 1963). Above Center: Adams & Westlake "Kero" short globe lantern marked "S.P. Co." (Southern Pacific Company) with a clear globe and an unusually large fuel fount.  The lantern also has a burner and glass chimney similar to those found in switch lamps. (See detail Above Right). The purpose of this lantern is unknown. Collection of (and photo by) David Dunn.

Examples of short globe lanterns by companies other than Adams & Westlake are shown on Short Globe Lanterns Other than Adams & Westlake.   In addition, Dietz "Vesta" lanterns are often classified as short globe lanterns. A discussion and examples of these can be found on: Dietz "Vesta" Lanterns.

Notes: Information sources are Barrett, Cunningham, and Dreimiller.