JeffPo's Reading Railroad Lantern Page
Last update: 10/29/09
This Dietz Vesta lantern was used by the Reading Company. The red globe is cast with P & R, which stands for Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, the previous name of the Reading Company. The lantern is stamped with RDG. CO. TRANS. DEPT. The red globe indicates that it was used as a stop signal.
Image take 1927. Philadelphia, PA.
The Reading Company (pronounced "Reding"), although mainly remembered as a railroad, was also a multifaceted industrial giant. Originally established as the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad in 1833 to transport anthracite coal, the pioneering 94-mile line evolved into a mighty corporation serving eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Operations included coal mining, iron making, canal and sea-going transportation and shipbuilding. With its great complex of shops for locomotive and car building and repair, and constant advances in railroad technology, the company held a position of leadership in the railroad industry for over a century. The Philadelphia & Reading created the Reading Company to own on paper during the 1890s, trying to ward off the government's effort to break up monopolies. After World War II as America began to turn away from coal as its major fuel, the Reading's fate began to turn as well. The Reading entered bankruptcy in 1971 and its operations were taken over as part of the federally financed CONRAIL in1976.
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