N&W lanterns

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sat Feb 24 18:41:05 EST 2007

Hello all,

I recently bought a pair of Adlake N&W lanterns at a train show, and I'm trying to learn some more about them. I'm also aware that forged or replica railroad lanterns are often passed off as "authentic", and I'm also trying to determine if these are indeed genuine. I've looked at a couple of lantern websites for tips on identifying fake Adlakes but from what I've gathered, there was too much variation in production, and sometimes production was subbed out for large orders for there to be any clear-cut way to determine if a lantern is a fake. I've also read that some roads repaired damaged lanterns rather than throw them away, so it's possible that parts could have been interchanged.

The red lantern is stamped on top with N&W RY. in 5/16" curved letters on the back of the lid near the hinge, and THE ADAMS & WESTLAKE CO. stamped on the front of the lid near the latch in 3/16" curved letters. The latch on the top appears to be spring wire that catches under the frame. On the bottom is stamped ADLAKE-KERO 4-41 (4th quarter, 1941 I assume) and PATS. PENDING, both of which are curved around the edge. In the middle of the bottom is stamped in straight letters:



I assume these are patent numbers.

The clear lantern is identical in frame and lid except for the latch, which is a 3/8" flat steel tab that hooks over the top of the frame. The lid brim is stamped N&W RY. in 3/8" curved letters, but it's to the side of the hinge. On the very top of the vent "chimney" (the cylindrical part with all the vent holes at the top), the lid is stamped ADLAKE in curved letters at the back and KERO in curved letters at the front, all in 1/4" letters. On the bottom is stamped ADLAKE-KERO 3-56 (3rd quarter, 1956 I assume) and PATENTED, both of which are curved around the edge. In the middle of the bottom is stamped in straight letters:


Besides the stamping, the only difference in the bottom between the two is that there is a 1/4" hole dead center in the bottom of the clear lantern, and I'm wondering if someone might have tried to electrify the lamp at some time.

In addition to similar body styles, they both have the same kerosene pot stamped ADLAKE 300 on one side of the wick holder, and the wick and cotton are still inside the pots.

Both appear to be in very good overall condition with very little rust and very few dents or dings. The red lantern has a very small ding on the top of the "chimney", and both have a few very small dings around the edge of the globe seat.

I've done my best to describe their appearance and condition, but if anyone needs any more details please let me know and I'll tell you as much as I can. I hope that these lanterns are indeed authentic N&W lanterns, and I hope that someone on the N&W mailing list is able to provide some more on the history of these lanterns.

Thank you,

Ed Cake

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