Known as the “Bull’s-Eye Police Lantern,” this lantern served as an inspection tool until it was replaced by carbide lanterns and subsequent battery flashlights. The lantern pictured above was manufactured by the R.E. Dietz Company in New York sometime between 1888 and 1918. It is a dead flame, brown japanned finish (i.e., finish that originated as a European imitation of Asian lacquerwork) lantern painted black with wire carrying handles on the back side. The 3-in. convex lens focuses the light for closer inspection.
The inspector lantern was designed to use paraffin (i.e., a cleaner burning lamp fuel), as well as kerosene. When used, the wick needed to be periodically trimmed. The flame is regulated by manually raising or lowering the wick.