Electric switch lantern? No. 2

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Mon Sep 5 15:53:21 EDT 2016


The standard switch stand was made by Adlake.  The attached photo shows two
new old stock ones that came from the N&W Storehouse in Roanoke.

This type had a hinged top that made swapping the bulb a simple chore.

I remember when they were installed but the date would be just a guess.
Mid 1960's.  I can remember driving over the park street bridge and looking
West at all the new shining switch lights.

You know who.

Jim Blackstock


On 9/5/2016 9:28 AM, NW Mailing List wrote:

> From the few old photographs I have seen, b&W main track electric switch
> lamps in the 1950s were the "can" type mfgd by the Peter Gray Co. of
> Boston. Round body, constructed of sheet metal, access door on one side
> which slid up/down, and of course, no ventilator chimney on the top. As I
> recall, they were equipped with a carrying "bail" on top.
> Photo of one is attached. But I never saw one on the N&W equipped with
> copper bezels, such as shown in this photo.
> The question, or course, is: When was the application of these things
> begun? My wild guess is that it was done at the time the 'W began
> installing CTC, although it could have been done earlier, at the time the
> railroad began hanging 440 volts on its pole line for AC track circuits
> (which was sometime around 1913, if I recall correctly.)
> Interlockings, of course, required no switch lamps, as switches were
> "protected" by the signal network circuitry and the home signals of the
> interlocking. It was non-interlocked, hand operated switches on main tracks
> which received switch lamps.
> I just checked a photo I took on 11-27-1960 at the Pull Up, 16th St,
> Roanoke, and it shows oil switch markers still in use on yard switches. I
> will also attach that photograph to this email. I took other photographs in
> this area, from the foot bridge, during the Winter of 1961-1962, and they
> also show oil switch lamps still in use.  But by the time I hired, June
> 1964, all the switch markers in the N&W Roanoke Yard were electric. Oil
> markers were still used in the VGN Roanoke Yard at the time the last
> electric engines were run, June 1962, as indicated by my photographs.
> Radford Yard was the last place I saw oil switch lamps still in use, and
> it was in the early to mid-1970s. My old time books have a note on that,
> made one cold Winter night when we stopped on No. 52 to pick up, and some
> day I will go through my time books and dig out the date.
> BTW, the proper nomenclature for these things is "switch lamp" or "switch
> marker," NOT "switch lantern."  In railroad parlance, a "lantern" is
> something a man carries in his hand. If the device is affixed to a
> mounting, it is a "lamp" or a "marker." This was never a formal (e.g. rule
> book) definition - it's just the way the vocabulary worked.  You do the
> job, you know how to use the words.
> -- abram burnett
> ===========================
> Sent to You from my Telegraph Key
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> Moderator:
> http://nwhs.org/mailinglist/2016/20160905.Peter Gray Switch Lamp.JPG
> <http://nwhs.org/mailinglist/2016/20160905.Peter%20Gray%20Switch%20Lamp.JPG>
> http://nwhs.org/mailinglist/2016/20160905.ADB_N&W_11-27-1960_Roke_Tr 51
> Eng 672_neg_103013.jpg
> <http://nwhs.org/mailinglist/2016/20160905.ADB_N&W_11-27-1960_Roke_Tr%2051%20Eng%20672_neg_103013.jpg>
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