This old brass railway lock and tapered barrel key set was made during a very short six-year period between 1889 and 1895. Both pieces are stamped C&MRR, for the Concord & Montreal Railroad. The C&M was headquartered in Concord, New Hampshire.
This is a good working set, with the lock responding immediately and cleanly to the key.
THE LOCK is brass. It is stamped C&MRR on one side of its shackle in serif Roman letters. On the other side is stamped WBOHANNAN BROOKLYN NY PAT'D. JUNE 25 78 . It has a thick iron clevis ring and original pin. The ring swings but not completely freely - you can lubricate it and it should free up without much difficulty. There is just the slightest hint of surface rust on the iron. The heavy chain appears to be original. The ONLY issue we have is that the internal spring is broken - the dust cover swings loosely over the keyhole and will not stay in place.
THE KEY is brass, a very early tapered barrel. It is stamped C&MRR on one side of its bow and on the other is stamped a serial number 1067 and the letter S. There does not appear to have ever been any maker stamp. The key significant wear, but the stamping is legible and metal at the end of the barrel is NOT worn thin.
BACKGROUND: The Concord & Montreal Railroad was incorporated in 1889, emerging from a merger between the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad and the Concord Railroad. It operated for only SIX YEARS until 1895, when it was swallowed up by the Boston & Maine Railroad, which was aggressively expanding its territory.
The C&M was a prime target, since in 1887 the Boston & Maine had gained control of the C&M's predecessor, BC&M. The B&M ultimately purchased the C&M in 1895.
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