A rare surviving Port lantern made by Peter Gray, Boston. Last quarter of the 19th century. Features a sheet metal body retaining an old red painted surface and red colored bowed lens. The manufactures label located on the upper front of the lantern states "PETER GRAY, MAKER, BOSTON" and "PORT" on a brass tag on the front shoulder of the lantern. Hinged back door with slide latch that opens to interior light, still retaining the original burner. A great old Boston made lantern that survives with expected wear from a century plus of use. Missing one of the two wire lens guards. An excellent surviving lantern for the maritime enthusiast and home decor alike. Stands 10 inches tall.
Reprinted from an advertisement- Cambridge University
PETER GRAY & SONS- FIRST ESTABLISHED IN BOSTON IN 1878
Since Then Have Grown to One of Largest Manufacturers of Railroad Signal Lanterns in the World—This Product But One of Many Sheet Metal Specialties.Peter Gray & Sons, Inc., on Third street, near Kendall square, is one of the largest manufacturers of railroad signal supplies in the world and besides this makes dozens of other specialties. The late Peter Gray, founder of this house, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, 1839. At the age of fourteen he began an apprenticeship of seven years as a sheet metal worker and Upon completion followed his trade in Scotland and England for an additional six years, after which he came to New Brunswick. After a short service there, he was engaged by George H. Mason of Boston, in 1866, as manager of his sheet metal works. Mr. Gray served in this capacity until 1878, when he started in business for himself at 12 Marshall street, Boston, under the firm name of Peter Gray. There he began the manufacture of lanterns and general sheet metal supplies, with a force of six men. From the first, success attended his business venture In 1900 two sons, George M Gray and Mason H. Gray who have been working with their father for several years, were made member of the firm, which took its present name of Peter Gray & Sons. Three years later the firm moved to South Union street, Boston. Since that time the business has prospered by leaps and bounds as the present plant well illustrates. The products of this Company are many and varied. They are best known as manufacturers to railroad lanterns. Train market lanterns for the rear of passenger trains, engine classification lantern; for locomotive use, locomotive cal lamps, elevated train markers drawbridge and pier lanterns in among their standard designs They also produce a variety of lanterns for other purposes. They have for many years manufacturer, the huge storm warning lantern required by the United State Weather Bureau. It is in the manufacture of signal lanterns, however, that the firm is best known in railroad circle throughout the country. They have long been leaders in the development of railroad signaling and if the electrification of signal lanterns. The tracks of our New England railroads are almost entirely equipped with Peter Gray &Sons lanterns. They were the originators of the modern daylight lantern, by which light signals may be used in bright sunlight as Well as by night. Their latest product in this line is a daylight lantern equipped with an electro-magnetic shutter which automatically close when the signal is not set, thus preventing the rays of the sun from entering the reflector and reflecting false, or as they are called by railroad men, phantom signals.
Although popularly known as lantern makers, this is but one department of the Company's business. They produce a large variety of sheet metal ware and specialties. Oil cans, oilers, waste cans, sprinkling cans, water pails, fusee cases, torches, water coolers and many other supplies for railroad use are standard items with them. In addition to railroad equipment they are large producers of metal stamping. One entire floor of their plant is devoted to presses and electric welding machines. They specialize in quantity production of metal units or complete products. Among their recent products in this department are such articles as battery boxes, fabric boxes, hot water bottles, desk calendar stands, ear phones, moving picture projectors, clock cases, meter case covers, addressing machine parts, graphophone parts, electric heater parts, automobile parts and accessories, and parts for leather working, textile and shoe machinery. In their sheet metal department they make to order in any quantity such items as safe boxes, tool boxes, ash barrels, wool boxes, and containers for all purposes. Animal cages, milk inspectors' outfits, incubators, and a variety of apparatus for bacteriological laboratory use are among their products, many items of which they have standardized and carry in stock. Candy case coolers, candy pans and trays and other metal supplies for confectioners are also lines which they feature. They have lately specialized an the design and manufacture of stamped metal parts to replace castings, a field in which they have already made great progress.
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