1903-1923 Hiram L. Piper GTR Table Lamp

Hiram L. Piper made and sold a lot of table lamps throughout the years. This Piper lamp is marked GTR, for the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada. These lamps were made for use in offices, stations, etc. Often these could be found in the ticket office of a railway station.

Piper table lamps were made of solid brass with a cast iron weight in the bottom. Earlier versions of this lamp had stamped markings, like this one, but later versions were embossed on the metal. Where the markings are located also vary. Sometimes, especially on later ones, railway markings or embossings are stamped on the base, earlier ones are stamped on the top of the fount.  I believe these were made into the 1940s, possibly 1950s. Along with Hiram Piper, Noah Piper in Toronto also made and sold these lamps. Piper Toronto lanterns have a slightly different fuel fount shape, and are sometimes shorter.

Other railways these have been marked for:

  • ICR – Intercolonial Railway of Canada
  • CNR – Canadian National Railway or Canadian Northern Railway
  • T&NO – Temiskaming & Northern Ontario
  • CPR – Canadian Pacific Railway
If you’ve seen these marked for other railways, let me know!
This Piper GTR lamp is a really nice example of these. They always present just beautifully and as a railway lamp, they’re quite different than the usual. Unfortunately, as these are made of brass, it’s quite common to see these with cracks in them. Brass, especially sheet brass, has a tendency to ‘stress crack’ as it ages. Cracking in these usually formed along the bottom curves of the fount. It’s something you need to watch closely for if you plan on using one of these lamps.


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