Celebrating Over 129 Years! Star Headlight & Lantern Co., Inc. Proudly Designed, Manufactured, and Assembled in the USA!

Third Generation

The History of Star Headlight & Lantern Company

Generation 3 (1949-1974)

Berwin Jacobs

Berwin Jacobs
Third President / Treasurer

Berwin, Dolores and David Jacobs

Berwin W. (right) & Dolores W. Jacobs (center)
with their son, David (left)

1948: Berwin Jacobs buys out brother, Bob Jacobs, and Albert's widow for sole ownership of the company. Berwin W. Jacobs becomes the third President and Treasurer of Star at the age of 39 in May. Dolores W. Jacobs, Berwin's wife, is elected Executive Vice President & Secretary. Over the years Dolores will aid in the design of a number of Star products. She is responsible for the day to day administrative activities of the company. The staff of the company includes Meyer Gilbert, an assembler, John Davidson, a metalworker, Frank Bach, the shop foreman, Joseph LaCagina, a metalworker, John Moeny, a metalworker and grinder, Thomas Mungovan, the office manager, and Rosalie Rock, the secretary.
1949: Company name changes to Star Headlight & Lantern Company.
1949: Taken from a Times Union (local Rochester newspaper, July 11) interview between Andy Wolfe and Berwin Jacobs:

Berwin Jacobs is described as a "quick moving and firm jawed man." The grandson of George Jacobs, founder of the Star Headlight Company, he started work at the firm in 1930, after study at the University of Utah.

About the use of lanterns he stated, "They are just a tool, but they're a vital tool. When a light's being waved around a railroad, it means something, actually it's talking. The lantern can say, back up, go ahead, stop, easy, cut one loose, ride it, highball, wash 'em out, and hundreds of other things vital in the work of the roads."

Major products include: Red flagman's light, white signalling lights, and a car inspector's light. Newest lamps have three separate bulbs, a rugged frame to protect the lens and an especially durable loop handle or "bail" as it's known to trainmen. The firm's blue light is equipped with a fail-safe circuit. (A second light takes over if the first on burns out.) A novel dock light has also been added to the inventory. The uniquely designed light turns off automatically at dawn.

1950's Letterhead

1950's Letterhead (Note the company name change from "Head Light" to "Headlight")

1952: Star Headlight and Lantern Company moves to new 6,500 square foot building located at 168 West Main Street in Honeoye Falls, New York.

Star's Honeoye Falls Headquarters (1952-1997)

Star's Honeoye Falls Headquarters (1952-1997)

1969: David W. Jacobs, the fourth generation of the Jacobs family, joins Star after two years in Chicago working at the First National Bank on April 30. On May 24, David is made Vice President of Sales.
1971: On September 3rd, David Jacobs is made General Manager of Star.
1973: In a Times Union article, David Jacobs states, "Business is booming now with a growth record that would make Kodak and Xerox envious."
He continued by saying, "That's the one thing, the ability to innovate which explains our success when dozens of others (lantern companies) have folded. We just had the ability to innovate and make something a little different. There aren't many new things."
1974: On May 10, Berwin Jacobs, age 66, retires after 37 years as Star President.