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 Post subject: Looking for Car 30 lights
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2023 8:39 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2023 3:01 pm
Posts: 1
Good morning I am John Campbell, President and Manager of the Franklin Railroad and Community Museum. The Franklin (NY) Railroad and Community Museum is seeking information and lighting hardware to complete the restoration of NYO&W Business Car 30, The Warwick.
Car 30 was built in 1889 by Jackson and Sharp of Wilmington, DE. Railroad records indicate that the car was built with lampos utilizing "Frost Carburetor" technology. Any information and or someone with some potential lights will be appreciated. Thank you. John Campbell
johncampbell8@gmail.com or 607-829-2692


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Car 30 lights
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2023 10:09 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:30 pm
Posts: 70
I passed your post around to some friends and one of them came up with this old ad below:
Attachment:
1679362421932blob Frost carburetor lighting equipment.jpg
1679362421932blob Frost carburetor lighting equipment.jpg [ 111.24 KiB | Viewed 1089 times ]

Maybe you can get idea of what they might have looked like if you can find some photos of the cars from that period of time.

Ed Horan


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1679362421932blob Frost carburator lighting equipment.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Car 30 lights
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2023 1:42 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:37 pm
Posts: 307
Location: Niles Canyon Railway, near Sunol, CA
An excellent general resource is the Car Builder's Dictionary, 1888 edition

Free page-by-page view of entire book at:
https://books.google.com/books?id=Jv7VAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

This book was reprinted in 1971 by Newton K. Gregg. Reproduction quality is excellent - much better than the Google Books digital scan. Copies are available on eBay from $75. Search for "Car Builder's Dictionary 1888".

The car interior lighting section is pages E-192 through E-211, Figures 812-949.

The first 3 pages show the high-tech (for 1888) Pintsch gas lighting system. More info on this at:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Pintsch#Pintsch_gas
https://www.jstor.org/stable/3103207
https://www.catskillarchive.com/rrextra/sdgas.Html

The rest of the lamps shown in this section use liquid fuel, almost certainly kerosene. (If perchance you acquire a vintage kerosene railroad passenger car lamp, be careful of the lamp fuel used. Many hardware stores sell a product labeled "kerosene" that is much more volatile than what was sold in the past. It can overheat and ruin a lamp designed to operate on real kerosene, and could burn down the house or railroad car.)

1880s-1890s railroad passenger car interior lamps are rare items. Keep looking! It is amazing what is hidden in private collections; you might get lucky. Patience and perseverance will help.

I help support restoration of Yosemite Valley Railroad parlor-observation car #330 at Niles Canyon Railway http://www.ncry.org. YV 330 is an all-wood-body car built in 1907. https://www.yv330.com/ The interior d├ęcor is plainer than an 1889 car, but of similar construction. After many years, owners Wes & Claudia Swift were able to acquire the correct kerosene ceiling lamps (chandeliers) for the car. Due to the fire danger, these lamps were carefully converted to LED illumination.

Good luck in your restoration efforts!
- Doug Debs


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Car 30 lights
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2023 12:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:24 am
Posts: 66
Location: Cleveland, OH
Ask a good library to get you pages 420 and 421 of " The American Railroad Passenger Car" by John H. White, Jr. There is a good description of the Frost Carburettor (sic) System of Car Lighting. Some highlights (pun intended) from the book, the lights used gasoline for fuel, which at that time was a waste product from the distillation of kerosene. The Frost lights produced more candle power than Pintsch lights, and the railroad did not have to maintain a Pintsch gas plant. The carburetor and tank held four gallons of gasoline and it was placed on the roof of the car. The drawing that is shown has six lights on a PRR coach. The PRR was the main customer for Frost with 776 cars equipped with them. The N&W, Reading, Burlington, and Wisconsin Central also used them. The manufacturer was the Railway Lighting and Heating Co. in Philadelphia. The Frost lights were first used in 1885 and in 1900 Pintsch bought out the company and discontinued the Frost lights. White says that there were only 1000 cars equipped with the Frost system.

I doubt that you will ever find any Frost lights and they would probably be too risky to use anyway. Perhaps you can get reproduced lighting from Woody Kirkman, at lanternnet.com


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