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Need to identify maker and use

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    Posted 3 years ago

    (1 item)

    Need a lens clamp for a railroad light I can”t find any information on maker or where it was used on railroad tracks
    I was told it came from NY railroad, only markings 356a
    Cast iron with 5 lens, please help Joey

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    1. Toyrebel Toyrebel, 3 years ago
      It looks like a railroad switch lantern. It was put on a pedestal by the switch that would turn to a certain position depending on the switch position.
    2. NYBrunette, 3 years ago
      My dad had one of these, but with 4 lights. #465A with red, orange, green and white lights, made into a lamp. He recently passed away and I asked one of his friends and co-workers from the NYCTA about its history. Wish I could post a pic, its really quite impressive, in perfect condition. Anyway, history: I was told it was made in the late 1800s-early 1900s. The American Car and Foundry had the contract for train cars in 1904 when the NYC subway began running. They made wooden cars until 1925. The lanterns were used as route markers on front of the trains, and as red lights on the rear. The Beekman Foundry in PA (where mine came from) made rail cars from late 1800s til 1904 when the IRT started running and metal trains started being produced. By 1925 the old wooden cars were used on the shuttle tracks as work trains to expand the subway lines to Grand Central, west to Broadway, and east up to Harlem. As these trains broke down, they were scrapped, and stripped of all their signs, lights, etc. After 1925 the lanterns used on trains were made of sheets of steel. Prior to 1925 they were castings.

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