Penn Central kerosene Lanterns?

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Penn Central kerosene Lanterns?

Postby stvigi » Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:13 pm

I collect kerosene railroad lanterns and about a year ago purchased one with PC markings.

Now my question, from what I have read kerosene lanterns were either banned or just replaced with batttery lanterns by 1963 due to the shipping of propane over the rails. If this is correct then why did the Penn Central have lanterns made for them? It would seem that w/ the merger of 3 railroads and being strapped for cash that the last thing they needed was new kerosene lanterns?

thanks

Steve
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Re: Penn Central kerosene Lanterns?

Postby JimBoylan » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:39 pm

The pictured lantern is embossed Kerosene, not Propane. I don't know if PC used them, but they did sell them through their mail order gift shop. I have one of the catalog - order forms.
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Re: Penn Central kerosene Lanterns?

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:34 pm

JimBoylan wrote:The pictured lantern is embossed Kerosene, not Propane. I don't know if PC used them, but they did sell them through their mail order gift shop. I have one of the catalog - order forms.

Is it possible that the lanterns were produced only for sale by the gift shop as a revenue-raiser and never actually used in service? I know at one time they were selling a number of items with Conrail logos that were not genuine railroad articles.
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Re: Penn Central kerosene Lanterns?

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:36 pm

Oops -- meant to say Penn Central.
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Re: Penn Central kerosene Lanterns?

Postby stvigi » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:55 pm

Yes I agree it's a kerosene lantern.

The propane story came from railroadiana.org (http://railroadiana.org/lanterns/pgLant ... ntsTwo.php) about an open flame kerosene lantern causing an explosion of a leaking propane tanker in a rail yard, thus their being banned for railroad use.

I did not know about the Penn Central catalog, and it may best explain why there are Penn Central lanterns being sold on e-bay and listed in a few of the lantern books.

Is there any chance of a copy (either via e-mail or on-line) of the catalog page where the lanterns were listed?
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Re: Penn Central kerosene Lanterns?

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:12 pm

Penn Central did not use kerosene lanterns. The one in the picture is either created for store sale or a hoax.
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Re: Penn Central kerosene Lanterns?

Postby TB Diamond » Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:37 pm

Bought a Penn Central marked Adlake Kero 3-1/4" lantern from a friend back in the 1970s. The lantern showed no use whatsoever and had a red fresnel globe. Stands to reason that it was made strictly for the rail enthusiast/collector market allthough I can offer no evidence that this was so.
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Re: Penn Central kerosene Lanterns?

Postby ExNYC63 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:48 am

Noel, I can testify that Penn Central did use the karosene lantern pictured. In the early 1970s I was a trainmaster on the PC Chicago Division. During my stay at Elkhart we would put them
on the rear end of cabooses on through trains that had an electric marker failure. We never used them on train that originated at our yard as our car department would have everything
working. I found it amazing, at the time, that PC had bought some kerosene lanterns. They came in handy when there was a marker failure. I often wondered if they were ever
returned! But that was the car department's worry.
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Re: Penn Central kerosene Lanterns?

Postby fm » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:15 am

The kerosine lanterns sold through the Penn Central Post and the railroad's gift catalog were unmarked Adlake Kero lanterns. Only the ones that were made for use on the railroad were marked with the PC logo. You can find lanterns like this, marked with the raised stamped PC logo, made by Adlake (Kero model) and by Dressel. I was given an Adlake example by a PC car-knocker named Tommy O'Toole who worked out of South Braintree and the Boston Freight Terminal during the early 1970s. It has a blue globe and he told me that he put it on the end of cars he was working on at night to indicate that it was not to be moved. PC only used kerosine lanterns for a couple of years and then moved on to battery lanterns. Comparatively few were produced and issued.

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Re: Penn Central kerosene Lanterns?

Postby scharnhorst » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:13 pm

every now and then one of these lamps shows up on ebay or at an antique shop with some off the wall price that most people would not pay for a lamp. My limit on when it comes down to buying Railroad lamps is $45.00 and no higher than that.
no matter the weather or the country I'll still be trackside!
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Re: Penn Central kerosene Lanterns?

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:25 pm

scharnhorst wrote:every now and then one of these lamps shows up on ebay or at an antique shop with some off the wall price that most people would not pay for a lamp. My limit on when it comes down to buying Railroad lamps is $45.00 and no higher than that.


I got a lot more than $45.00 for a New Haven Lantern that I sold at the NHRHTA show in Connecticut in November, 2008.
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Re: Penn Central kerosene Lanterns?

Postby prrk4pacific » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:27 am

I was at an antique mall today in Cincinnati and found one of these. I found this thread looking for info on it. I had to buy it because I didn't think anyone would believe me if I couldn't show it to them. I was surprised this existed, both because battery operated lanterns were commonplace by this time and also because I would have expected there to be plenty of PRR and NYC lanterns still around.

Here's pictures!

ImageImage
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Re: Penn Central kerosene Lanterns?

Postby Bigt » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:04 pm

Back in the early 1970's, here on the old Montreal Secondary, we had the CTSE (the Canton Traveling Switcher).
It was the weekday local that ran from Massena, NY to Canton, NY. This run alway operated with a N9 or N11
transfer caboose. There was always a battery operated marker light at each right hand corner (looking at the
rear of the caboose) of the cabin. They were the same type of "flasher" that is used currently in highway and
roadway construction / maintenance. The box was orange in color ....the lense was red. The marker had a
carrying handle very similar to that used on the Star Headlight and Lantern model trainmans battery lantern
issued by the railroad. I believe these markers did in fact come from that company, but, others did make them.
The marker also had a "hanger" attached just like those found on the old kerosene marker lamps, and, was hung
as same. However, getting to the point of this thread, more than once I saw a lighted red Adlake kerosene lantern
hung on the rear most car (usually with a rubber bungee). This occurred when darkness had fallen, and, as is
natural in local work, the caboose was not at the rear of the train and a short "move" - two to three miles -had to be
made. I could never find anything in the rulebook that covered this exact situation, but, given the average years of service for
the crew on this run would have been in the 30 to 40 year range, well, I guess they knew what they were doing! I saw
this three times - twice in Winter months and once in the Summer when the local was running in the evening / night
hours due to track maintenance. All three times the caboose was buried in the consist....four or five cars back from
the loco and as least that or more from the rear of the train. I own one such lantern that I got from a garage sale
from a family who was disposing of their late father's estate. He had retired from the PC and was given this lantern
as a farewell gift by the Trainmaster and others. The lantern is brand new..still with paper packing in the font! The
wife told me that she saw the Trainmaster take it from the "storeroom"...right from the box....so, it did not come
from the Penn Central Store.
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Re: Penn Central kerosene Lanterns?

Postby 3rd out nuthin comin » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:51 pm

I worked for Penn Central it's whole life (not my whole life) and we used kerosene lanterns, and we didn't get them from the gift shop :-D .
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Re: Penn Central kerosene Lanterns?

Postby lvrr325 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:40 pm

Boy, I almost bought one of those someone had altered to be a wall lamp, maybe 4-5 years ago at the flea market. But I suspected at the time it might have been made that way, new, or was new enough to not be worth the $10 or $20 or whatever the guy wanted for it.
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