Other similar lantern
The Handlan 2000 Utility lantern is an excellent example of the earlier efforts. The distinction between railroad lantern and highway lantern is ambiguous here. Handlan-Buck used a proprietary 4 1/2" short globe in the standard five colors and also offered red, blue, green, and clear Fresnel globes for the 2000 (as well as their later railroad lanterns).
These come in all variations under the 2000 number. The numbered exception usually with a 5" diameter base and uprights extending from hood to base has been passed as being used on railroad barges when in fact it's a model 2500 designed for use on trucks like the Luck-E-Lite. (That's not to say a truck lantern couldn't be used on a barge; in fact one Embury ad illustrated that use.)
One marked variation has a hasp on the back and an odd "hook" on the bail.
Some 2000s were even modified with an adapter to accept Little Wizard size globes.
Here's an early Handlan designed for the Laclede Gas Light Co.
Dietz followed a similar path however they were well-aware that many contractors and city departments were already using cold-blast lanterns in the Little Wizard series (Little Wizard, Little Giant, and #100 Contractor) so they also modified their railroad-frame lanterns into the square (at least two versions - the earliest of which can also be found marked Vulcan or Empire in addition to 8-Day) and then round-base 8-Day lantern to accept the Lil' Wizard globe rather than a standard 3 1/2" railroad short-globe. In this design Dietz also developed a Fresnel globe that was interchangeable with the LW globes and was specifically marked for the dead-flame lantern application. (The Little Wizard globe fits correctly "upside down" in the square-base models.)
Embury's #500 Highway lantern (1934-1944) appeared to be based upon a railroad lantern but Embury wasn't particularly noted for railroad lanterns - their line, especially in latter years, included general lanterns and was even more directed towards municipalities and contractors. Like many of their cold-blast lanterns the #500 accepted a Little Wizard size globe; the Embury #10.
In 1945 Dietz introduced the Night Watch. This lantern (some had the horizontal around the verticals, others passed through the verticals) has the operational characteristics of the 8-Day but was modern and streamlined. It continued to use the same globes as the 8-Day (Fresnel now marked Night Watch). And usually yellow frame and dome. A very interesting variation of the Night Watch was tried.
During this same period Embury presented the Luck-E-Lite #25 and Contractor #250/#225 (1937-1952) to replace the #500. The #25 had a bracket attachment and baffled-font for vehicular use; the #225 had a center hand bail. Interestingly these models had NO embossing - the manufacturer (or rarely owner) information is stamped into the dome. It appears that Dietz didn't acquire the Luck-E-Lite upon acquisition of Embury. While it was previously suggested that production was continued by Red Flare Signal Corp of Fostoria, Ohio, that is in question since the the history of this company has not been documented. However Red Flare globes are often found in Luck-E-Lite lanterns suggesting some relationship. On the other hand Red Flare cold blast lanterns are not of Embury origin, but rather Paull's or perhaps a mixed breed.
Special metal globes were made in a size similar to the Little Wizard globe: (3-way, Detroit Metal Products "Lite-Gard") and (4-way, Embury "Luck-E-Lite" #255-M). Another odd globe (front,rear) has been found which probably wouldn't fit in a dead flame frame. Note that the globe guards have been removed in order for it to fit in a Little Wizard. This model is marked with the name Fraser and is also found with amber lens suggesting that it was designed as a truck-trailer corner marker/clearance light.
Traffic lanterns from around the world (England, Germany, Australia). Be patient as all the photos appear.
(Thanks to Frank Webb who will hopefully have more at his site for England and Australia.)
References in advertisements to "non-tipping flat bottom" would imply that the lanterns were just set on the ground or on the sides of dirt beside excavations. On the other hand that nice bail would also work just fine to hang the lantern from a wooden barricade Utility companies in large cities actually made special barricades for their Traffic Gards.