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Welcome to our Question & Answer Bulletin Board -- a bulletin board for collectors and anyone else to post questions about railroadiana and related history. Please note that we do not deal with contemporary railroading. This board is moderated (all volunteer) but is not staffed by "experts". Rather it relies on everyone to share what they know. Any question or reply about railroadiana is welcome except the following:

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Latest 25 Questions:

 Q3062 Lamp/Lantern ID?  I acquired a really large lantern this week... about 2 foot square, tin with red and green lens which are about 12 inch diameter. Not sure if this is a RR or ships light? Any ideas? Regards,   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Wednesday, November 25, 2015 by RA   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. Barrett's Illustrated Encyclopedia of RR Lighting Vol. 2 shows an Adlake No. 199 Drawbridge Light, sold between 1907 thru the 1940's. The Adlake is functionally similar to yours, with red and green 8 3/8" diameter lenses, and also had a white Fresnel lens inside, but had a chimney set up for a kerosene burner while yours looks to have been electrically lit, since there is no effective ventilation. Other manufacturers such as Handlan made very similar lamps for drawbridge service; the 8 3/8" lens diameter seems to have been a standard.  Posted Wednesday, November 25, 2015 by RJMc

 Q3061 Dressel Lamp Info?  Can you tell me anything about this? It's make by Dressel and says stimsonite on the reflector. Any information would be appreciated!   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Wednesday, November 25, 2015 by AK   Post a Reply  Email a reply

 Q3060 Lantern Marking Ambiguity  I have an Adams & Westake lantern marked LRRR. I researched two RR's that have this marking - Little River Railroad in Coldwater, Michigan and the Little River Railroad in Townsend, Tennessee. I bought it local near Townsend, TN. Any way I can find out which RR it came from (or another RR system)? Thanks.  Posted Wednesday, November 25, 2015 by MM, Park Ranger, GSMNP   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. OK, when you find out let us know. Posted Wednesday, November 25, 2015 by GL

 Q3059 Dressel Lamp Date Range?  Good Day All! I'm trying to find out the approximate age of a Dressel Switch lamp I picked up here a while back. I've searched around the Q&A section here but have not been able to get some kind of a date range. It has a round top marked 'Dressel' in the center with 'Arlington N.J U.S.A.' around the outside. The only other marking is 'ERIE' in the center mounting socket on the bottom which I assume is the Erie Railroad. There are no other markings. It's not electric, the front slides up to access the inside and has 2 blue/green and 2 amber Corning 5 3/8 lenses with the lens hoods. Any help with dating this lamp would be greatly appreciated. I'm sure these were made for quite a while but any sort of date range would be great. Thanks for your time!   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Monday, November 23, 2015 by Gary    Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. I would guess mid 1920's to mid 1930's. Just a guess based on the flame peephole on the lamp body. Earlier Dressels would have a different style name stamping on top. Later ones wouldn't have the peephole.  Posted Tuesday, November 24, 2015 by JFR

A. Thanks so much for the reply and information JFR! I didn't think it was quite that old so it's good info to have. Thanks again! Gary Posted Wednesday, November 25, 2015 by Gary

 Q3058 Help with Switch Lantern/Lamp Model  Can anyone help me to identify a switch lantern manufacturer and model? I remember seeing my Grandfather;s lantern as a child and I also remember how much he treasured his lantern, I do not have a picture of the switch lantern in question as I only have a vague mental picture from my childhood. The lantern that he possessed was a large 4 sided lantern with day targets as large as dinner plates and had a bell shaped base,He often remarked that the bell bottom made it somehow stand out from similar lanterns, It seemed to be larger than any of the lanterns that I have seen anywhere, My Grandfather worked for the Pennsylvania RR as a fireman. he passed on years ago and I would like to find a lantern of this type to remember our time together. Any and all help in identifying this lantern would be greatly appreciated. Sorry that's all the information that I have to aid in the identification.  Posted Saturday, November 21, 2015 by David N, Coraopolis, Pa    Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. The best way is to go to Ebay and look up Railroad Lanterns. There are many different ones on there at any given time. You may find one that resembles what you remember. Good lick with your quest. Without a picture, the only one who knows about the lantern is you. Posted Sunday, November 22, 2015 by JN

 Q3057 Button ID Needed  I am sending this email in hopes that someone can help me in getting any information on this button, I found it in the woods in Wisconsin while metal detecting. The back has unknown material and the front is pretty clean. Thank you in advance,   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Friday, November 20, 2015 by Steven G   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. Buttons such as this, with many different generic RR themes, were often found on work clothes such as overalls, jackets, etc. which were used in all kinds of RR, farming, and other outdoor work. It may be hard to trace further since that kind of clothing usually got thrown away when it wore out, and unlike on things like uniforms, the buttons were seldom saved and re-used.  Posted Friday, November 20, 2015 by RJMc

A. The Internet is an amazing thing....the Link is to a website dedicaed entirely to work clothes including coveralls, etc. with many examples and photos which show the buttons. Unfortunately there is no easy way to search for button images without looking at the examples one by one.  Link 1  Posted Monday, November 23, 2015 by RJMc

 Q3056 ATSF Lamp  I donít normally collect Santa Fe lamps, as I am a SP & Pacific Electric lamp Collector. I kind of fell in love with the look of this lamp, but I suspect it is a railroad globe on a basic barn type lamp. Cannot find a reference to it on Key, Lock & Lantern site. Am I right, or was this used on the Santa Fe as it is? Any information you could share would help me to decide if I want to purchase it or not.   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Tuesday, November 17, 2015 by FJ   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A.  I don't remember having seen any Santa Fe marked barn lanterns but if one was marked in this way it would have been an etched marking more than likely. This looks like a well executed decal applied to a an old globe and artificially aged. Look closely at how the sunlight reflects off the upper right corner of the marking or if you have access to it, run your finger over the marking. Even a silk screened marking such as on soda water bottles from the 1930s and 40s should raise alarm bells when found on a railroad globe. Posted Tuesday, November 17, 2015 by MG

A. Back in the late 1960's new Dietz lanterns with globes like this (applied decals) were marketed to the general public at retail. I even remember them being sold at either Walgreen's or Woolworth's. Since the globe size is standard, I suspect that one of those late 1960's globes was inserted in an older frame. It is NOT railroad issue. Posted Tuesday, November 17, 2015 by bobf

A. If this is a decal (and it looks like it is), we mention a fake with the Santa Fe logo on one of our web pages .. see link. Link 1  Posted Wednesday, November 18, 2015 by Web Editor

A. A seller on that well known auction site recently had several of these decaled barn lantern globes from various railroads for sale, including a Northern Pacific one with the incorrect Monad logo - turned 90 degrees from where it should be. The globes were in various rusty barn lantern frames, headlined as "rare", and priced at $250. No one bid, so the price dropped to $50 and the NP one sold, but not sure about the Santa Fe lantern.  Posted Friday, November 20, 2015 by JEM

 Q3055 Button IDs Needed  I've come across a few sets of buttons recently, and while I have been able to identify most of them, these two are still turning up nothing. The first looks to read YP&FSt Ry Co, and the second WP of Penn'a. Thanks, all.   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Monday, November 16, 2015 by JT   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. Youngstown Park & Falls Street Ry. in Ohio, from 1893-1917. The mold for the button dates from about 1911. The other button I am not familiar with, may be prison or police instead of railroad. Posted Monday, November 16, 2015 by MG

 Q3054 Rusty Wizard  My old rusty Little Wizard has a rusted/seized lamp that I cannot twist out. The ears on the outside move a bit but inside it wonít budge. What can I do? Thanks much.  Posted Monday, November 16, 2015 by Don    Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. Frankly speaking, throw it away and buy another one on Ebay. Little wizards are literally a dime a dozen and have no collector value unless it has a unique factory stamped marking on it. You can pick up a nice working one on Ebay for 10 or 15 dollars plus shiping. Posted Tuesday, November 17, 2015 by JL

 Q3053 Update on #2319 -- Signal Restoration  Update on the signal shown in #2319: I was able to determine this was a 'Station Stop signal' used on the New York and New England RR in the 1800's. I've restored the signal to near original condition and have added a link to the signal's restoration page [see link below]  Posted Monday, November 16, 2015 by Joe  Link 1     Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. Good job. Nice. Posted Tuesday, November 17, 2015 by JL

 Q3052 Steel Clad Lantern  I purchased a Dietz Steel Clad lantern that has an E.R.R.Co. globe in it. Both the lantern and globe show no signs of use (not overly cleaned to look unused). Dealer stated globe was in the lantern when he bought it and had no details on origin. Frame, of course, is not marked. Is this a legitimate Erie lantern? Did a cost-conscious Erie purchase Steal Clad frames for an existing stock of globes, or did someone just stick an Erie globe in an unmarked frame? Also, can anyone give me some general facts about Steel Clads, especially prevalence of railroad use? Thanks much,   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Monday, November 16, 2015 by Steve   Post a Reply  Email a reply

 Q3051 PRR Keystone Logo on Globe  I recently purchased a Pennsylvania R.R. Keystone 'Casey' Lantern Ė the patent dates along the outer rim are of 1902 and 1903. The globe is a clear Corning with the Cnx logo on one side and the PRR Keystone logo on the other side. The lid of lantern is stamped P.R.R. I recently came across you article about Fakes and Counterfeits and just wanted to know if the Pennsylvania R.R. ever marked their globes with the PRR Keystone Logo. Thank you.  Posted Sunday, November 15, 2015 by Phillip   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. Is the PRR logo cast, or etched, into the globe? Posted Sunday, November 15, 2015 by RJMc

A. PRR had cast 5-3/8 logo globes. The logo is pretty small, about 7/8" or so tall. PRR also had etched globes with the PRR logo, having a larger size logo. Posted Friday, November 20, 2015 by bobf

 Q3050 'No Clearance' Sign  I picked up this no clearance sign. It's bigger then the standard ones which are 38 inches by 6 inches with 3 inch letters. The one I have is 54 inches by 6 inches with 3 1/2 inch letters. Why is this one bigger? Did they use on bridges and tunnels? Thanks for your help .   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Friday, November 13, 2015 by RT   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A.  These signs are used at warehouses or any other building which has a loading dock or an overhead door that has track through it. The danger is from the close side clearance which would be a problem for a crew member riding the side of a car or even walking beside a moving car.  Posted Tuesday, November 17, 2015 by KM

A. RT, itís probably not possible to give you a definitive answer to your question. Railroads made as many thing themselves as they could. Signs like this one were designed by someone in the engineering department. The size of the sign and the style, height and spacing of the lettering were laid out very specifically in mechanical drawings and furnished to a sign painter in the railroadís shops at one or more locations along the line; then to be produced to those standards as needed. It would be unusual to have signs of different sizes on the same railroad because of that standardization coming down from the engineering department. Ė A question to you would be if you know anything about the origin of your sign? What road is it off of? --- These were extremely critical signs! --- A kid I went to high school with, Tom Bisby, hired out after graduation on the BN as a switchman in Omaha; a half a year later, on Christmas day, of all times, Tom failed to see one of those ďNo ClearanceĒ signs. He got knocked off the car he was riding and was killed. He was a good guy, and I still remember him all these years later. - Railroading was a dangerous business. ---- Ö. Red Beard  Posted Friday, November 20, 2015 by Red Beard the Railroad Raider

A. thanks red beard this sign came from the east coast around the pa NJ de states. the ones i have seen were smaller then this one. thanks Posted Saturday, November 21, 2015 by rt

A. RT; ..thanks for writing back with an answer; so many guys don't. -- That area of the East was a railfan haven! There were many railroads operating back there. My best guess would be that what ever railroad it came from had a standard lettering plan for those signs that was just a bit larger than its neighboring roads, and that all your sign's sisters from that same road were made and lettered to the same dimensions as yours. -- Cary your tape measure with you, and when you see those signs in use or at a sale, measure it and see! ---- .... Red Beard  Posted Saturday, November 21, 2015 by Red Beard the Railroad Raider

A. Many large industries such as grain elevators, steel mills, army bases, power generating stations, etc. owned their own track and some had their own locos, running their trackage as a shortline. All the basic requirements of RRing, such as these signs, existed for all of them and they in most cases could set their own standards; often but not always they adopted whatever their main line connecting RR did particularly if the larger road sent crews onto the industry's track. So your sign might be from many possible sources, not just the main line RR's.  Posted Saturday, November 21, 2015 by RJMc

A. thank you red beard and rJmc for the info Posted Sunday, November 22, 2015 by rt

 Q3049 What is it?  I found this piece in my collection of 'Unknown Items' and wonder if anyone can shed some light as to just what it is. Very heavy, strong spring action and has the word 'Pullman' cast into the top. If anyone has an idea, please let me know!   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Friday, November 13, 2015 by RLN   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A.  I was just doing some work on walk-over seats in a Pullman day coach yesterday and there are no springs and it does not look like any of the mechanism from those. It may be from a Pullman berth, they have very strong springs on the side mechanism. Maybe I can check one of those for you next week. What is the size of this piece? Posted Sunday, November 22, 2015 by KM

A. The overall length is 7 inches, the center portion where the casting is, is 1 1/4 inches wide. The spring tension is very heavy as it takes an effort to latch and unlatch the devise. My problem is that I have no idea as to where,when or how I got it but at the time, anything that was marked "Pullman" had to be interesting! Any help will be gratefully welcome! Thanks, RLN Posted Monday, November 23, 2015 by RLN

A. its a spring off a sleeping berth bed Posted Tuesday, November 24, 2015 by trm

A. I want to take the time to say thanks to all for being able to ID this latch/spring. It had me confused for a long time!  Posted Wednesday, November 25, 2015 by RLN

 Q3048 Pullman Ashtrays  I have often seen the half oval brass trays that are marked 'Pullman' and have been referred to as a Ashtray and always thought that this was correct. Most of the time, they are brass but have seen several that were nickle plated. However in talking to some 'Old Timers' recently, I was informed that they were used in the rest rooms on Pullman Coaches as a 'Soap Dish'. This seems like a more likely use for them. Anyone out there who can shed any light on this question? Thanks,  Posted Friday, November 13, 2015 by RLN   Post a Reply  Email a reply

 Q3047 Baggage Tag Marking  Can you tell me what W-TER stands for? Thanks.   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Tuesday, November 10, 2015 by RW   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. For background, as a place to start (but no answer yet): I suspect the 'Richmond' mentioned is Richmond, Virginia, although there are other 'Richmonds' around the country. For Virginia, the R&D RR would be the Richmond and Danville, which per Bill Edson's 'RR Names' operated between the namesake cities from 1850 to 1894. The V&T could be the Virginia and Tennessee, operating under that name between 1851 and 1870, which is consistent. But those two RR's did not have a direct connection. Starting on the V&T (at Bristol, VA for example) you would have to connect to the South Side RR at Lynchburg and go 71 miles west to Burkeville to change onto the R&D to Richmond. Nothing in the Official Guides I have available for 1851, 1868 or 1881 indicates a through route for those points, and no intermediate location that might get abbreviated with 'W-TER'. A couple of notes: The tag might be for a purpose other than baggage. Also, the years for the two RR's span the Civil War when operations were almost certainly very different due to the heavy wartime activity around Richmond.  Posted Wednesday, November 11, 2015 by RJMc

A. The route discussed above is actually very direct, going northeast from Bristol, VA to Lynchburg (V&T), then EAST to Burkeville, northeast to Richmond (R&D.) But still no answer on W-TER, which could stand for either a place or a transportation carrier or route, and might be beyond the V&T territory the way the tag is laid out. It is interesting that the tag says 'To Richmond' but seems to be issued by the R&D, which is the only carrier mentioned so far that actually serves Richmond.  Posted Sunday, November 15, 2015 by RJMc

A. In continuing to research this, the possibility exists that the route was part of Confederate railroad operations which in general are not well documented. However, the Link is to a website where David Bright has collected and organized massive amounts of historical info on and documents from all the railroads during the Confederacy. There are a LOT of documents and newspaper articles discussing the route using the V&T and the R&D RR's (and all the other RR's), but still nothing that might explain W-TER. I have also forwarded this Q to Mr. Bright in hopes he may recognize the tag.  Link 1  Posted Wednesday, November 18, 2015 by RJMc

A. The most likely theory so far is this would cover baggage moving from "Western Terminus V&T RR" to Richmond (via the unmentioned SouthSide RR, for which there was no alternate route)and the R&D RR route. The words 'Western Terminus' are mentioned in some of the descriptions of various RR's in an 1862 RR Guide to the Confederacy, but so far we haven't found them directly referred to as a routing point. All of the RR's discussed here were constructed and opened only in the 10 years or so preceding the Civil War, so it is possible 'Western Terminus' was originally used as a temporary measure for an incomplete rail route. As with almost everything else, the RR's would continue to use something like this tag until it was lost or used up, so the tags might have stayed in circulation for quite a long time as the V&T/SS/R&D route got intensively used during the Civil War and after.  Posted Thursday, November 19, 2015 by RJMc

 Q3046 Piper Switch Lanterns  Greetings all, I have 2 Piper CNR switch lanterns, the 1st one is made of cast metal and is in pretty tough shape, the second is newer and is in good shape with all its parts and is made of galvanized metal. My question is if anyone knows the age of these and if there is a way to tell by looking at them?  Posted Tuesday, November 10, 2015 by JW   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. Send a photo Posted Wednesday, November 11, 2015 by Red Beard the Railroad Raider

A. These are the pictures of the two lanterns in question. They both are CNR HL Piper lanterns, they both had plastic lenses in the wrong color combinations. The first is the newer of the two made from galvanized metal. The second had been hit but something and is in tough shape and is made from cast metals. Any info that could be provided would be greatly appreciated. Link 1  Posted Friday, November 13, 2015 by JW

A. Hi JW I live in Canada and have a couple of these myself. The oldest ones were made of brass. I would speculate that the ones made next were the cast ones, then the ones which were galvanized sheet steel. The two I have are both galvanized sheet metal with some cast steel parts on the bottom. The collars that held the lenses are brass on both of mine, and painted black. As for exact age, it may be hard, if not impossible to tell. I have seen photos dating as late as 1979 showing switch stands complete with the kero lamps in use in Toronto. I know that the earliest lamps used the standard fresnel lamp lenses, then some were updated to lenses made of stimsonite (a type of reflective plastic). Those were the first form of reflectorized 'targets' in use on switch stands. I have a CNR manual from 1974 which describes the stimsonite option when ordering these lamps. As the lenses were constantly being changed and updated, even looking at the lenses won't give you an exact date of manufacture for the lamp itself. As the Piper lamps were made from Adlake plans with permission, I would see if you can compare your lamps to known (and dated) Adlake plans, that may be an option to estimate the date yours were made, unless you can see a date stamp under all that old paint. Happy collecting! Steve B. Posted Sunday, November 15, 2015 by Steve B.

A. Wow, Steve, great information. Thanks. -- Could you scan or photo copy that CNR manual and send it to the web editor for use on this site?? -- thanks. ---- .... Red Beard Posted Friday, November 20, 2015 by Red Beard the Railroad Raider

 Q3045 Lunkenheimer Lenticular Steam Whistles  I was wondering if anyone has any information about the Lunkenheimer Lenticular Steam Whistles? Are these whistles considered to be rare? The reason I ask is because I have heard once that these whistles were considered to be the holy grail of the steam whistles. Also, were these whistles used on the railroads???? Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated, thank you!!!  Posted Monday, November 9, 2015 by PRR girl    Post a Reply  Email a reply

 Q3044 Name of Railroad Bar?  ​This bar was given to me by a retired railroader. He said they kept it in the caboose in case they needed it to fix something. One end was used to take off the big air hose; the other end was to take off brake shoes. The middle of the bar has the journal box hook for opening the journal box. Does anybody know what this bar is called? Thanks   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Sunday, November 8, 2015 by RT   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. not sure what its called i have seen them back in the 1960s on the old cabooses in the tool box . the marking UKM on it is united knitting machine company they also make locomotive bells. Posted Monday, November 9, 2015 by dj

 Q3043 Caboose Lamp?  I believe this to be a Caboose Lantern, or other type of signal lamp, however I've been unable to find anything similar to it searching for RR lamps. It has no name of a RR or of the manufacturer. It measures approximately 14 in tall by 5 in wide by 5-1/2 in deep and had three flat lenses with the option of any one of the three being in use at any one time or possibly two together as one position is stationary. They would have measured 4-1/2 square, the glass in the stationary position could be removed or replaced through a slot located under a flap on the top of the lamp, the other two through an open slot in the top of the swinging glass holder. The two swinging positions, when not in use slide inside secured with a sliding pin. The rear has tang used to attach the lamp to a flat surface. The rear opens for access to the burner, directly behind the burner is a convex mirror like surface to focus or intensify the light. Any help would be greatly appreciated!   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Sunday, November 8, 2015 by Steve U   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. Hi Steve, I can't give you a positive identification, but the design of your lamp, particularly the chimney, looks French. Possibly a dwarf signal lamp or a side lamp from a "fourgon", the French name for a caboose. Posted Thursday, November 19, 2015 by JAJ

 Q3042 Tag Info Needed  I was trying to do some research online to find some information and came across your site. I hike outdoors a lot and came across what appears to be an old baggage tag laying on the surface. From my research, it appears that the name on top, Murdoch, held a patent for these tags. However, I cannot find any information on the other initials (S.D. & C.T Co.). There are multiple old, late 1800's foundations where I work here in the back country of San Diego, and I assume it's from one of those locations. Given the time period, I assume it could be stagecoach or train, but not being familiar with these, I am at a loss. So, if you have any information I would appreciate it.  [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Sunday, November 1, 2015 by Sean   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. THe link is to Scott Czaja's excellent reference site on all kinds of tags, with specific info about the James Murdock Jr. tag mfg'ing co., listed as operating "pre-1895". As to "S.D. and C.T.", a quick look thru Bill Edson's "RR Names" book did not show any company names in either the RR or the electric interurban section for these initials. However the second link is to a Google Book file for what appears to be a magazine titled "Land Of Sunshine" promoting Southern California. In one of the 1894 issues, on page 24, right side, there is a Diamond Carriage and Livery Co. ad which shows their hack office is at 1019 Fourth St. (presumably San Diego), and they also have a branch office at the "S.D. & C.T. Co." also at 1019 Fourth St. Looks like your tag was for issue at the branch office of the livery co. There are lots of pix on the web for the Diamond Co. at that time period.  Link 1  Link 2  Posted Monday, November 2, 2015 by RJMc

A. Nice find and great research; thanks for sharing! Posted Tuesday, November 3, 2015 by jsmosby

A.  San Diego & Coronado Transfer Company, one of a number of companies John D. Spreckels was president of in the San Diego area. The firm may predate his control, you could possibly research the city directories to find their first year in operation. Posted Tuesday, November 3, 2015 by MG

A. See: for a great 1890 pic of an SD&CT Co. office, with sign hanging in the window. They probably had more than one office. Note in the lower right of the pic the street sign for 'Fourth Street' but the address doesn't look like 1019. (The link looks like it got cut off in transferring, so to speak, but it might also work for the same pic.)  Link 1  Posted Tuesday, November 3, 2015 by RJMc

A. Wow, thanks guys. I forgot I had submitted this question, and didn't realize there was so much information already posted. I will do some light reading. Thanks!!! Posted Wednesday, November 18, 2015 by Sean

 Q3041 Model Info Needed  Could you please help me to identify this model of a live steam locomotive that I think might be from probably 1870s-1880s? It was found in New York. The distance between rails is 7 inches. The locomotive looks like a scratch built model. I know that there used to be a company in US called Cagney that back in the days was making models of locomotives for amusement parks. I wonder if this is an early Cagney locomotive or it is something different? Thank you very much!   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Sunday, November 1, 2015 by RK   Post a Reply  Email a reply

 Q3040 Wells Fargo Stamps  I have collected wells Fargo brass stamps for some time. I have two versions: Some say wells Fargo express and some say wells Fargo & co's express. Which is correct? Is one of them fake or did wells Fargo use both versions? Thanks,  Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2015 by Troy   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. Authentic Wells Fargo sealers are always marked Wells Fargo & Co ('s) Express, W F & CO ('s) Ex, etc. There are sealers marked just "Wells Fargo Express", wooden handle with a number in the center and location, and these are fakes. They started showing up in the 70's, and have fooled a lot of people over the years. Included is a link to an auction website showing one of the phony sealers Link 1  Posted Wednesday, October 28, 2015 by DA

 Q3039 Lantern and Globe Markings  Hello and good day. My name is Matt, and Iíll admit Iím a rookie at RR lanterns but am learning thanks to your web site. With that said Iíll get to my questions. My first (and only so far) lantern is an old Adlake Reliable made for C&NWRR (grandpa was an engineer in 50ís and 60ís). I noticed some of these globes (on eBay) have 'MADE IN THE U.S.A.' embossed on them. Mine doesnít. Why would some globes have it and others not? Railroad C&NWR Lantern Globe eBayDSCN5513. My other question is more about what validates a lantern as being a true railroad lantern. I thought all railroad lantern bodies/frames would have the railroads initials or name on them. But after reading your write up on the Dietz XLCR I see that isnít always the case. What's confusing to me is that some people are selling lanterns that have no railroad initials or names on the bodies but the globe will have a railroads initials on it. So how do I know if itís a non-railroad lantern that somebody put a railroad globe into and now theyíre calling it a 'railroad lantern'?  Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2015 by Matt   Post a Reply  Email a reply

A. I am not sure about the 'Made in USA' marking question, but as to lanterns: Every RR ordered lanterns for its own use, and decided pretty much at the time of ordering details such as whether to have them marked or not. As to the pieces and parts, such as the globe, the various RR's worked very hard (through industry-wide committees) to get things standardized, to keep costs down and to minimize spare parts inventories. Globes broke and got replaced very frequently. You can think of it like flashlights and batteries. Just as with a flashlight (and RR's do have flashlights, some of them marked, others not), it wasn't really critical where replacement batteries came from, or how they were marked, as long as they fit and worked in the light. Lantern manufacturers made certain models which they targeted at the RR's, and those are generally regarded as 'RR lanterns' but there is no way to tell who bought them or how they were really used.  Posted Wednesday, October 28, 2015 by RJMc

A. Hey Matt! Youíll rarely come across a non-railroad lantern with a railroad globe because they generally donít fit together very well. What you are looking for is the style of the lantern frame. The lantern frame style for a railroad lantern was different from a normal barn style or utility lantern. Your Adlake Reliable is a very common tall globe railroad lantern. If you came across another Adlake Reliable, it would still be considered a railroad lantern even if it wasnít marked for a particular railroad. Non railroad styles are the ones like a Dietz Little Wizard, Monarch, D-Lite, Blizzard, etc. These are sometimes called tubular lanterns, or barn lanterns. And these arenít considered railroad lanterns unless they are specifically marked for a railroad. The Dietz Vesta is a tubular style railroad lantern, but notice that it has a wire bottom around the fuel fount, which differentiates it from the other tubular lanterns. A slight disclaimer on the Vesta in that other companies other than railroads sometimes used them, so most people prefer their Vesta to be marked for a railroad before officially calling it a railroad lantern. Link 1  Posted Wednesday, October 28, 2015 by JeffPo

 Q3038 Dayton Lamp Burner  I bought this Dayton lamp today, I am trying to find out the correct burner for this lamp. It has an HG Moehring burner which is period, but I still would like some input. Thanks Jason   [Click on image for larger version.] Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2015 by Jason   Post a Reply  Email a reply