Sounds like it is a sunset or something, right? In this case wrong.
It’s actually a locomotive headlight. One of the 12″ Golden Glow headlights that was the CNR’s standard headlight. Pictured is one of two locomotive headlights found on the Susan Push. She has one front and back because she was a switching or yard locomotive design. Sometimes she pulled, sometimes she pushed, sometimes front was front and sometimes front was back.
Want to know more about Gananoque’s historic engine Susan Push?
Consider taking one of our 30 minute tours, helping out her restoration fund.
This by donation tour leaves the Visitor Centre on Fridays at 11am.
The Golden Glow train light was originally patented by the Electric Service Supplies Company (ESSCo) in the early 1900s. The colour in the glass comes from the addition of uranium salts to the glass melt which gives the headlight reflectors a yellow/green colour. The theory was that this colouration wouldn’t blind you when looking at the headlight of an oncoming train. The Electric Service Supplies Company was based in Philadelphia, New York, and Chicago.
Some interesting trivia on train headlights I discovered while researching.
– North American trains had one front headlight, intended to illuminate the track.
– European trains had three headlights in usually in a triangle pattern, intended to mark the front of the engine and be easily differentiated from those of a car or truck.
– There was a headlight called a mars or gyra light, that looked like an eye rolling from side to side while going along at speed. It was used as another attention getter at crossings/yards/stations.