All travellers by railway must feel the difficulty of reading with the lights furnished at the expense of the company. Even in first-class carriages the persons occupying the central seats alone can prosecute their studies with advantage or pleasure. In second-class carriages the railway light is in many cases mare sparingly supplied. Third-class carriages are often left in utter darkness—an arrangement which is in every respect objectionable. We hold that all railway carriages should be lighted ; and even if that rule were invariably observed, all those travellers who desire to improve their time, would find advantage from the employment of the patent reading lamp. The subjoined cut shows the manner in which this lamp is used. C is the hook which is affixed to the carriage. We once observed an ingenious traveller who carried a small bodkin, such as printers use, for the purpose of fixing in the carriage, he suspended his lamp from the bodkin. D is a reflector which shades the eyes, and throws the light of the candle, fixed in the tube, E, upon the book. The lamp is cheap, light, portable, and useful. [The above is from the London Expositor; the lamp- is exceedingly useful for railways in England, but before it can be used on our roads, the tracks will have to be better constructed. We have never attempted to read on one of our cars without soon experiencing a dimness of vision and a pain in the head. There is such a shaking and jolting of the cars on our best roads, that it is very difficult and disagreeable for any person to read. The English tracks are more solid, and passengers slide along as smoothly as if sitting in a parlor. Our railroads, however, have wonderfully improved, and areim-proving every day, so that in a few years, we believe—when we become more consolidated —we will have as fine tracks as any nation in the world. The above lamp will then not be forgotten ; it is small and compact and can easily be carried in the corner of a travellers coat pocket. It is also a useful lamp for a student to set in any nook or corner and read a favorite author. The lamp, it will be observed, is seated in the inside of an outer tube or case, and is enclosed entirely when the cap, D, is shut down. We commend it to the attention of our lamp makers.
This article was originally published with the title "Grime's Patent Carriage Reading Lamp" in Scientific American 8, 27, 216 (March 1853)