This gorgeous key is from the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad, which operated in central-northern New York state between 1842 and 1891. It is a beautiful golden brass with small but sharply clear stamping RW&ORR on one side of its bow. On the other side is stamped serial number 727 and the letter S.
Also stamped on the bow is the Wilson Bohannan mark, which is somewhat obliterated by "finger polish."
There is a single ring incised around the barrel. While the end of the barrel and edges of the bit are nicely worn smooth, there is no metal damage or excess wear. Despite its service, it is clear this key has never been abused.
From Wikipedia: The Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad began in 1842 as the Watertown & Rome Railroad, built to link the cities of Watertown and Rome, New York on the Syracuse & Utica Railroad. At the same time, the Potsdam & Watertown Railroad was formed to link Watertown with the village of Potsdam, New York in St. Lawrence County. In 1861, these two railroads merged as the RW&O. Over years building branch lines and winning mergers with others, the RW&O spread over the northern New York area but crumbling infrastructure started its downfall. By 1878 the RW&O had been merged into the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad. By 1891, RW&O had become a subsidiary of the New York Central, into which it finally was formally merged on April 12, 1913.
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