This big reference book is an absolute must for a serious railroad lantern collector. "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Railroad Lighting: Volume I, The Railroad Lantern" by Richard C. Barrett with Joseph Gross is one of the bibles of the hobby. This copy is a lovely hard cover First Edition, printed in 1994, complete with its dust jacket.
SIZE is an impressive 9 inches by 11.5 inches, with 389 pages. It weighs over THREE pounds (before packing).
CONDITION is extremely nice. This book is colorful, bright and clean. It appears to have had almost no use -- "Very very gently read." We could not find any writing in it, NO stains, NO torn or missing pages. The spine and binding are as tight as new. It looks just as if it had been taken from a store bookshelf. The best way to tell it is not brand new is that it does not "crack" when opened.
Collectors will find extensive research on the development of the American railroad lantern. (Please note, a "lantern" is a hand-held device; it is not a stationary "lamp." Railroad lamps are the subject of Barrett's Volume II.) The author traces the earliest known beginnings of railway lighting, from the operation of the first night train in 1847 when tinsmiths hand made whale oil lanterns. Following chapters on inventors, industrialists, tinsmiths and early glass manufacturers before the Civil War, Barrett offers extensive, in-depth information on nearly 100 lantern manufacturers. Readers will be intrigued by the intensely detailed background, histories and inter-relationships of both the companies and the people involved with them.
A strong focus is on how the industry grew from hand work to mass production. Included are the Adams & Westlake, Armspear, Barons of Ohio, Dayton, Defiance, Dewey, Dietz, Embury, Peter Gray, Ham, Handlan, Kelly, Keystone, Loeffelholz, Lovell-Dressel, Porter, Post, Star and Steam Gauge. Pages are overflowing with reproduced early catalog pages, drawings and photographs of more than 360 actual lantern models. Smaller manufacturing companies, Canadian manufacturers and questionably identified makers are also discussed.
Especially helpful for collectors doing restoration work are chapters on globes, fuels and burners. Knowing which of these belongs with which frame is vital to a correct restoration project! Barrett also offers lantern terminology for the beginner and a guide to determine rarity. Ten pages set forth railroad lantern-related patents, which can help with dating individual models.
All in all, this volume is indispensable for anyone with more than a passing interest in American railroad lanterns. It is especially useful for historians interested in the rail related manufacturing industry.
We are very proud to be able to offer this very hard to find reference edition. It would be a star in any railroad book collection.
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