overall: 14 1/4 in x 4 3/4 in; 36.195 cm x 12.065 cm
lantern, hand signal
lantern, hand signal; Rail
United States: New Jersey
This signal lantern was used on the Camden & Amboy Railroad in New Jersey from around 1833 until 1840. The top of the lantern bears the inscription “Edward Muschamp,” the conductor who used the lamp, as well as the inscription “Phile & NEW YORK RAILROAD” two cities connected on the Camden & Amboy route.
Before the advent of portable two way radios, train crews communicated via hand signals during the day, and lantern signals during periods of low visibility or at night. Specific motions of the lantern convey precise instructions such as “Clear to Depart;" "Move the train Forward;" "Move the train Backward;" "Slow Down;" "Slow Down Further;" or "Stop and Remain Stopped."