This fabulous old Vermont lock can be dated to between 1852 and 1867. Marked R&BRR, it is from the Rutland & Burlington Railroad, the immediate predecessor of the well loved, fallen flag Rutland Railroad.
Down the back central panel in serif Roman letters is stamped R&BRR. On the opposite side, the maker information is stamped into the dust cover over the keyhole: S.C.THOMSON & CO NEWARK NJ . On the shackle is a patent date of 1852.
It is brass and is locked shut - unfortunately, we do not have a key. Condition is wonderful - no apparent damage and the internal spring is strong.
This is one of only two of these locks we have come across in 30 years of looking.
BACKGROUND: The Rutland & Burlington Railroad, the direct, immediate predecessor of the Rutland Railroad, was chartered in 1843 by the state of Vermont to build a railway between the cities of Rutland and Burlington, a distance of approximately 60 miles. Over the ensuing years, several other railroads were formed in the region, and by 1867 the Rutland & Burlington Railroad had changed its name to simply Rutland Railroad.
We had difficulty locating information about the S. C. Thomson & Company. Apparently its parent company was Ritchie & Son, established in 1850, located on Railroad Avenue in Newark, New Jersey and known under the successive names of Ritchie & Boyden, H. Ritchie & Co., and S. C. Thomson & Co. They limited production to railroad padlocks only, using the company's own patents. Henry Ritchie and Samuel Thomson were business partners with a man named Westerfield.
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