To be honest, I’m not entirely surer about this lantern. There are no marks, no patent dates, I have seen no illustrations or catalog cuts of this lantern. That said, the tubes, the way the tubes are shaped around the hole for the bail, the fount, the skirt, it all matches ETW’s manufacturing style of the 1880s-1890s. Again, that said, I still don’t know when it was made. I assume in the 1890-1900 phase, because it has a fuel cap which matches other E.T.W. lanterns I have from this era, but the tubes on E.T.W lanterns was changed from the round tubes to the square ‘coffin corner’ tubes in 1894. Regardless of what it is, it’s a fantastic lantern. I’m calling it an inspectors lanterns because that makes the most sense, there are no clips on the back of the reflector for it to be a Dash lantern of any kind.
An Inspectors lantern was used by railway car inspectors. While inspecting the wheels and bearings of trains, they could use these lanterns to provide a concentrated beam of light. Since I can’t be 100% sure this is an inspectors lantern, I’m keeping it here, and not in the railway section.