Here is a wonderful old Lehigh Valley Railroad brass key from the 1800s. Its maker was George Nock of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a sought-after lock maker in the hobby.
This key is stamped L.V.R.R on one side of its bow over the letters SS . On the other side is stamped G.W.NOCK the serial number 1352 and PHILAD (for Philadelphia - we can't tell if some of that stamping ran off the side of the key).
There is wear showing on the bit edges and barrel ends -- surprisingly light for the age of the key but "just the right amount" collectors look for. The color and patina on this key are extremely good. There is some discoloration/darkening where the bow stem meets the barrel but it is just cosmetic, not metal damage.
We can't be sure they are all made to work with the fancy castback Lehigh Valley locks, but we did see one of those locks with one of these Nock keys.
The Lehigh Valley Railroad, operated in the northeastern United States primarily to haul anthracite coal. The railway also carried freight and passengers. Headquartered in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, it ran in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. The LV originated in 1847 as the Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill & Susquehanna Railroad Company. On January 7, 1853, the railroad's name was changed to Lehigh Valley Railroad. It was sometimes known as the Route of the Black Diamond, named after the anthracite coal it transported. At the time, anthracite was transported by boat down the Lehigh River; the railroad was meant to be faster transportation. The Lehigh Valley Railroad ended operations in 1976 and merged into Conrail along with several northeastern railroads that same year.
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