This is a fine lock set from the Maine Central Railroad. Both key and lock work very well and smoothly together.
THE LOCK is solid brass and heart shape and definitely from the 1800s. It was made by Thomas Slaight and is deeply stamped on the body beside the dust cover, T. SLAIGHT PATENT DEC 12 65 NEWARK NJ. On the other side down the panel it is stamped MCR-R and S. The actual patent number on this lock is US 51488.
Size is 2-1/2 inches wide, by 3-1/2 inches tall from the top of the shackle to the tip of the tail (not counting the clevis loop). It is VERY heavy - this set weighs just over ONE FULL POUND.
Condition is excellent with deep dark color that has taken on a lot of character over decades of use. Its internal spring is strong: the dust cover resists being pushed aside and snaps back on its own over the keyhole when released. It has an iron clevis pin and loop, which have just a tiny bit of surface-only rust and move freely. The iron chain is original. We can find nothing wrong with the lock.
THE KEY is also brass and stamped MCRR on one side of its bow. An S is stamped on the other side. There is no maker mark but from the shape it must be Wilson Bohannan, probably from the later 1800s (possibly younger than the lock). A nice mate for the lock with beautiful rich color and patina, and "just the right amount" of wear.
ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA: The Maine Central, which was chartered in 1856, began operating in 1862. By 1884, Maine Central was the longest railroad in New England. Maine Central had expanded to 1,358 miles (2,185 km) when the United States Railroad Administration assumed control in 1917. The main line extended from South Portland, Maine, east to the Canada–United States border with New Brunswick, and a Mountain Division extended west from Portland to Vermont and north into Quebec.
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