Lights and Lamps often bear a passing resemblance to Lanterns, but are quite different in their purpose and how they were used. While lanterns were designed to be carried by hand for illumination and signaling, lamps were usually built from heavier metal and often had lenses and large fuel reservoirs. Lamps and lights were usually placed or hung on a post or stand. These were used to mark the front of a train and its type, the caboose of a train, used to signal trains at switches, stations, and in rail yards. These objects hold their value as railroad collectibles even when they do not have a specific railroad’s name on them, because they were manufactured solely for the railroads, and often by the railroads.
Semaphore Lamps could be used to signal trains whether to stop, proceed, or proceed with caution based on the color of the lamp. Semaphore lamps usually have just one white lens and had filters of different colors that could be used to change how the light looked to trains that were coming.
Most common manufacturers are:
Adams & Westlake