|Click to Enlarge.|
A Page of Old Lanterns
In the days before public service corporations, the lantern was lamp and chandelier and street light. For there was no systematic street lighting prior to the enactment of 1774 which ordered lanterns for the streets of Boston. These illustrations show characteristic forms from several Salem collections. The materials of their construction are brass and iron, and the source of illumination was candle at first, but after 1774 whale oil lamps were used. Those of the bull's eye type were carried by watchmen, while the examples with bail handles were hung in the spacious hallways and carried by citizens at night. The iron perforated type shown in the lower right hand picture, known as "Pinched" or latterly as the "Paul Revere" lantern, shed little more than a glow through the holes punched in the iron and burred on the outside. Today lanterns may be used inside the house, but they are especially applicable as porch lights. It is a simple matter to substitute the electric light for the old-fashioned illumination.
Here is a link to see one of the ORIGINAL lanterns that signaled the citizens of Boston that the British were coming the night of Paul Revere's famous ride.