E.T. Wright & Co. Intercolonial Railway Bell Bottom

Beginning operations in 1872, the Intercolonial Railway (reporting mark ICR) played an instrumental role in developing the Maritimes. It’s mainline extended from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Montreal, Quebec. You can read more about the Intercolonial at the Canadian Encycopedia here. This Intercolonial Railway (reporting mark ICR) was the lantern I wanted since I started collecting lanterns. I searched and searched for an Intercolonial bell bottom, it took about 2 years but finally found one. I’m always looking for more still! I have family from Nova Scotia, and the farm my family used to own was intersected by the former Intercolonial mainline between Halifax, NS and Truro, NS. I also have ancestors who worked on the Intercolonial Railway. I just love the history of the railway.

The Lantern

This lantern would have been made between 1908-1915. Likely around 1908 because the common Pat’d 1908 mark on E.T.W. railroad lids is physically stamped on the metal, not embossed. It’s in excellent condition, in pretty much the same condition as my Grand Trunk Railway bell bottom lantern. The tin plating on the body of the lantern remains largely intact. The body of the lantern was dipped in tin, while the top and bell was electroplated with tin. Tin plating was a rust preventative measure on lanterns, as well as an attractive bright finish. Tin dipping as a method of plating resulted in thicker coatings, and it often still survives. Electroplating resulted in a thinner, but smoother finish, but it also wears off a lot easier. That is why this lantern has two very contrasting colours.

The globe of this lantern is also embossed ICR. I got the globe quite a while before I got this lantern. It was one of the first purchases I made. The globe sat waiting for the lantern for quite a while, it was nice to complete the pair.

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