Author Topic: Switch lanterns on high mast switches  (Read 7648 times)

Dave Crow

  • Museum Member
  • Fireman
  • ****
  • Posts: 359
    • View Profile
Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #45 on: November 25, 2020, 09:33:45 AM »
Not many members of the general public will be getting up close and personal with a switch lantern mounted on a high mast...

If we are worried about theft, why not mark somewhere inconspicuous (on the inside or the bottom) that the lantern is the property of the WW&F Ry Museum?

Dave Crow

Wayne Laepple

  • Museum Member
  • Supervisor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,964
    • View Profile
Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #46 on: November 25, 2020, 09:43:18 AM »
This latest turn in this conversation reminds me of something that happened more than 40 years ago. At the annual meeting of the old American Railway Museums Association (now part of the Heritage Rail Alliance), John H. White Jr. of the Smithsonian Institution was the keynote speaker at the banquet. When he told the assembled masses that "none of your equipment should be operated, for it must be preserved in its original condition and not altered," there was an audible gasp from the audience. After all, we were all involved in the restoration and operation of antique railroad equipment. That argument still erupts even today in some circles.

Ed Lecuyer

  • Administrator
  • Superintendent
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,409
    • View Profile
    • wwfry.org
Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #47 on: November 25, 2020, 11:39:25 AM »
I believe, if a generic Rutland Railroad artifact somehow arrived at Sheepscot, it would be evaluated by the Archivist to determine if it fell within our mission statement (preservation and education of the WW&F, its predecessor roads, and the Maine two-foot railroads in general.) Since the Rutland falls outside of the scope (having not been connected even tangentially to the two-footers, such as the MEC was) it would be either sold via the giftshop, online auction (to fund the acquisition of artifacts relevant to the mission) or held for trade with another nonprofit (again, to acquire something suited for our collection.)

(I welcome corrections if I don't understand this general policy.)

So, in the case of a Rutland RR switch lantern, as an artifact that the Archives would consider "expendable", does that mean we should modify it? I suspect it depends on the artifact, right? If it was a one-of-a-kind exceedingly rare and desirable piece, then certainly not. If it was a commonplace object, probably so. This lantern however falls into a (wait for it, sorry) gray area between those two.

There is no "right" answer here. Every artifact should be evaluated against the mission statement to determine the best course of action - restoration to operation? conservation & display? modification for use as an educational tool? deacquisition? etc.
Ed Lecuyer
Moderator, WW&F Forum

Mike the Choochoo Nix

  • Museum Member
  • Hostler
  • ***
  • Posts: 277
    • View Profile
Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #48 on: November 25, 2020, 07:07:09 PM »
My option is to put a second tag on the lantern but not to cover the old tag. Why? A second tag can not be easily seen it most photos and does not devalue it to most collectors and museums. It May someday increase its value as an artifact used by the museum. If you were removing of replacing something then it might be questionable, but to add a tag that shows a later use, I don't think it hurts.
M. Nix
Mike Nix

Bob Holmes

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 642
    • View Profile
Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #49 on: November 25, 2020, 08:20:17 PM »
The other question is whether we want a compatible switch lantern that closely complies with WW&F standards and history, but still allows us to help have the number pf high mast lanterns for the entire railroad.

(Obviously, I am not in the preservation of the original at all costs group!  Seeing these switch lanterns in use is more than enough for me to be thrilled.)

John Kokas

  • Museum Member
  • Supervisor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,508
    • View Profile
Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #50 on: November 25, 2020, 08:23:46 PM »
To All:  (Happy Thanksgiving)

Boy am I happy that I broached this subject and thank you to all for your inputs as there have been issues brought up that I had not given a thought to.  Again keep the comments coming as I'm still on the fence on this.  If someone wishes to provide guidance that the BOD would support, please bring it forward, as the end goal of this project is that these pieces will eventually find a home as part of the museum's operating collection.
Moxie Bootlegger

Allan Fisher

  • Museum Member
  • Brakeman
  • ***
  • Posts: 192
    • View Profile
Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #51 on: November 25, 2020, 08:36:27 PM »
As the Curator of one of the larger railroad archives in the United States, and a member of the Museum's Collection Committee, I am also not in favor of keeping dead items for people to study. Present and future researchers get a better picture of what your museum is all about by seeing artifacts used, and when the need exists - overhauled and renewed.
Allan Fisher

Mike Fox

  • Museum Member
  • Empire Builder
  • ********
  • Posts: 5,008
    • View Profile
Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #52 on: November 25, 2020, 08:49:43 PM »
I think finding one that closely resembles or even is the same make and style is incredible in itself. Adding a replica tag I think would be appropriate.
Mike
Doing way too much to list...

Carl G. Soderstrom

  • Museum Member
  • Fireman
  • ****
  • Posts: 458
    • View Profile
Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #53 on: November 26, 2020, 02:19:59 AM »
Thought you might like this guy's work:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_LjxwOQzFM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4vpXkDFL5Q

His FB page:

https://www.facebook.com/The-Luminary-Shoppe-2025765577478798/

He might be able to build a Switch Lamp from scratch? Or would you do that John?

Just an idea.

Happy Thanksgiving All

John Kokas

  • Museum Member
  • Supervisor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,508
    • View Profile
Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #54 on: November 26, 2020, 10:07:53 AM »
I've seen a couple of his videos, he is a 100% commercial operation and I'd have to spend at least 15K just to get close to his level of equipment.  I'm more of a part time tinker, but when I have a bad rust situation I will either find/scavenge a part of go to a sheet metal guy I know who already has all the fancy shop equipment.

Now if you want to get a new reproduction unit, I'm sure he could do it, just hope you have a whole lotta cash sitting around.
Moxie Bootlegger

Stephen Piwowarski

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 680
    • View Profile
Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #55 on: November 26, 2020, 06:21:00 PM »
Also, for those of you who aren't familiar, you might be interested in W.T. Kirkman- they are heavily involved in a number or railway restoration projects and their products are excellent.

Check their site out here: https://lanternnet.com/

Steve

John Kokas

  • Museum Member
  • Supervisor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,508
    • View Profile
Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #56 on: November 26, 2020, 06:49:06 PM »
Already looked at his site for some spare parts but the ones I need he either doesn't carry or is out of stock.  Bummer  :-[
Moxie Bootlegger

Rick Rowlands

  • Museum Member
  • Brakeman
  • ***
  • Posts: 151
    • View Profile
Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #57 on: November 26, 2020, 10:36:53 PM »
Kinda,  what I mean by a reverse stamping, instead of striking the letter into the metal strip, this would be bringing the strip onto a letter "positive" where you end up with a raised letter coming out from the surface of the strip.

These used to be a simple arm press with a platen where the letter/number dies would be inserted, then a tinplate strip would be placed over the die index and crimp.  The imprinted strip would be then attached to the body of a metal object via open tip soldering.  If I can find a picture, I'll add it.

I have such a machine with two spools of the soft tinplate strips.  I use it occasionally to make labels.  It came out of an electrical shop in a steel mill.  They would label outlets with it as to what voltage they were.
Rick Rowlands
Chief Engineer
Jones & Laughlin Narrow Gauge Railway
Youngstown, OH

John Kokas

  • Museum Member
  • Supervisor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,508
    • View Profile
Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #58 on: November 26, 2020, 11:29:31 PM »
Rick,

Please PM me, I'd like to see what your machine can do.  How old is it?
Moxie Bootlegger

Rick Rowlands

  • Museum Member
  • Brakeman
  • ***
  • Posts: 151
    • View Profile
Re: Switch lanterns on high mast switches
« Reply #59 on: November 28, 2020, 07:32:32 PM »
I will take a couple of pics of the machine tomorrow and will be in touch.
Rick Rowlands
Chief Engineer
Jones & Laughlin Narrow Gauge Railway
Youngstown, OH