RAILROAD LANTERN ID’D TO 56TH PENNSYLVANIA VETERAN

$395.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 217-214

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This small lantern stands approx.  9.00 inches high x 6.00 inches wide and is identified to Stephen H. Whitaker of Company A, 56th Pennsylvania.

The lantern has a brass base that is marked on the bottom “BONNELL & GRIDLEY, BUFFALO, N.Y. – PATENTED MAY 28, 1867.” The maker’s stamp is a little weak but the date is strong. The base also houses an oil reservoir and wick.

There is a glass globe with a protective brass cage around it. The glass globe is etched with Whitaker's initials "SHW" in an oak wreath. This etching meas. approx. 3.00 x 2.00 inches. There is a 2.75 inch crack in the globe. It is old and should not get worse if the item is not knocked around. The brass cage protecting the globe has two spokes that have come loose from their anchor due to a slight bend in the brass. The globe and cage is detachable from the base by the use of a clip on the side. There is a removable brass shield above the globe and a brass ring that once held either a handle or an upper globe. Both are gone.

Attached is an old typed label that reads “STEPHEN H. WHITAKER, A LIFE LONG AND HIGHLY REGARDED RESIDENT OF HANCOCK, N.Y. CIVIL WAR VETERAN, CO. A, 56TH PENN. VOLUNTEERS. FIRST COMMANDER OF POST 483 GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC (HANCOCK.) WELLS FARGO EMPLOYEE & ERIE RAIL ROAD STATION MASTER IN HANCOCK, N. Y. FOR MANY YEARS.” Opposite side reads “THE LANTERN OF STEPHEN H. WHITAKER, NOTE HIS INITIALS CUT INTO GLASS, SURROUNDED BY A WREATH. LANTERN PATENT DATE IS MAY 28, 1867 AND BEARS MAKER’S NAME “DONNELL & GRIDLE” (actually Bonnell & Gridley) IN BUFFALO, N.Y.” The label is also embossed with the name of a former owner.

Stephen H. Whitaker served in Company A, 56th Pennsylvania and later in Company B, 24th V.R.C. The details of Whitaker’s service are proving elusive. He shows up as having been given a Government pension and he shows up in certain roster books but he is not on the on-line database we use here. His records should be retrieved from the National Archives. The 56th Pennsylvania is credited with firing the first Infantry volley in the battle of Gettysburg.

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