Antique Police Lanterns

 

Police used whale oil lanterns as early as 1840 to illuminate dark alleys. These lanterns were called dark lanterns / flash-lights

due to an internal cylinder that blocked the flame when not in use. When turned an opening in the cylinder illuminated the light that was then magnified by a bulls-eye lens, thus flashing the light down a dark alley.

This police lantern is clearly marked “FLASH-LIGHT POLICE LANTERN”