Here is a good working lock and key set from the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway, the CCC&StL or "Big Four" railroad. They are a mixed marriage (as is often the case with railroad locks and keys) but they are absolutely authentic and work well together.
The lock was made by the Fraim company - it has the name E.T.FRAIM LOCK CO. / LANCASTER / PA. U.S.A. stamped down the top of the dust cover over the keyhole in block letters, and on the back the round FRAIM MADE IN USA logo. It is a terrific display with a colorful brass shackle and brass pins on the steel body. CCC&STL is stamped strongly into the shackle. Further, the pin that holds the clevis loop is also brass, so it has not rusted, and the steel loop swings freely. The chain appears to be original.
IMPORTANT: The internal spring is fine - the dustcover drop resists being pushed aside and when released it snaps back hard on its own over the keyhole. The only "issue" is some areas of light pitting on the surface and surface-only rust discoloration, which does not affect its working ability. There are NO other metal problems. There is light scuzz and crud here and there on the surface from use, but we do not clean our metal items!
The key is a good one, stamped CCC&STL in tall block letters on one side of its bow. On the other side is stamped the desirable, very early 1900s oval A&W CO. CHICAGO logo of the Adams & Westlake Company, and a serial number H1380 along with the letter S (for "switch"). The stamping is slightly worn from "finger polish" and use, and the barrel end has worn somewhat thin from age/use, but metal is NOT SPLIT.
BACKGROUND: Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, the "Big Four" operated in affiliation with the New York Central Railroad. The CCC&STL was formed on June 30, 1889, by the merger of the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati & Indianapolis Railway, the Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis & Chicago Railway and the Indianapolis & St. Louis Railway. It ran in the states of Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan. In 1906, the Big Four was acquired by the New York Central Railroad, which operated it as a separate entity until around 1930 -- the end of the CCC&StL as an entity.
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