This terrific key is stamped CGR on its bow in classic Roman serif letters. It is almost certainly from the Central of Georgia. At approximately 3.5 inches long, it was made for a coach or caboose door.
We believe this key is from the earlier Central of Georgia Railway (which lasted until the mid-1900s) rather than the later Central of Georgia Railroad, but either way it is CG. There is no maker marking.
The steel has taken on a very appealing gunmetal gray color and there is absolutely no rust or other damage.
There is just a slightest bend at the bit end (from someone trying too hard to turn it in a lock); and the teeth of the bit are rounded on the edges, documenting use.
A great find for any key or lock collector!
BACKGROUND from Wikipedia: The Central of Georgia Railway emerged in 1895 as a successor of its predecessor's bankruptcy. It prospered over the ensuing years through Georgia and Alabama. In 1907 railroad magnate and financier E. H. Harriman gained a controlling interest in the CGR, and in 1909 sold his interest to the Illinois Central Railroad, which he also controlled. In 1932, during the Great Depression, the CGR went into receivership, from which it did not emerge until 1948. In 1956, the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway (“Frisco”), seeking a route to Atlantic Ocean ports, gained control of the CGR, but the U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission declined to approve a merger of the two roads, so the Frisco sold its CGR stock to the Southern Railway in 1963, turning the CGR into a subsidiary. Then in 1971, the Southern formed the Central of Georgia Railroad to merge the Central of Georgia Railway, the Savannah and Atlanta Railway, and the Wrightsville and Tennille Railroad. In the early 1990s this was further merged into the Norfolk Southern System, effectively ending a separate CGR.
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