Lanterns from the Maine Central Railroad are not the easiest to find! This is a good one, a Dietz Vesta Lo-Top model, with a true cobalt blue globe. It is stamped MAINE CENTRAL on the top, the full name, not MEC or MCRR as is usually found.
The frame is complete, sound and solid, with NO broken or missing parts. There are no stress cracks. The soldering is strong and cleanly done. It is complete with the burner and wick assembly. There is NO rust other than some very light surface spotting on the top of the smoke dome. The bail handle can be adjusted to either an upright or down position (see our pictures).
The globe is a deep, rich true cobalt. Made by Corning Glass, it has the Corning CNX logo embossed near the top and is one of the globes Corning produced designed specifically for Dietz Vesta lanterns. There are NO cracks, chips or repairs. There are a few surface scuffs and shallowest flakes, expected from use and helping to guarantee authenticity.
This is an authentic lantern that has seen service on the railway - we have left it as found with slight surface "grunge" from use (we do not clean our railroad relics). It is a fine candidate for cleaning up and/or full restoration.
The only issues we can find are some light bumping on the bottom of the fuel pot; and that it does not sit quite flat on a table top, leaning slightly to one side -- caused by use during its life on the railroad.
*COLLECTOR NOTE: Railroads use the color blue as one of their most critical safety warnings. To maintain cars and locomotives, workers must climb on, in between, and under them -- very hazardous places to be, where unexpected movement can cause injury or even death. Displayed on a locomotive or train car, a blue light -- or "blue flag" -- means that the equipment may not be moved or even approached by another moving car. Blue flags may also be used to protect a stretch of track or vital equipment such as switches. In essence, blue means "do not move", "stop" or "do not enter." Only the person who placed the blue flag may remove it.