Oil fed lamps were introduced into the railway industry around 1860. There were numerous types of lamps used for a multitude of jobs. Lamps were hung on trains to indicate the class of train, at level crossings, to illuminate semaphore signals at night, and were used within the rail yard by workers to signal to the trains. The lamp in the Newmarket Collection is known as a 'hurricane lamp' and was used as an emergency stop signal. The red glass globe suggests that the lamp was used for signalling either along the rail line or in the rail yard. It was produced by the Canadian company General Steel Ware Limited and can be dated to the years following 1933 based on the inclusion of the company's initials GSW on the lamp. GSW formed in 1933 when the E.T. Wright Company and Sheet Metal Company of Canada merged.
http://www.museevirtuel-virtualmuseum.ca/index-eng.jsp, viewed 14/09/2010.