This great antique railroad switch lock dates from the 1800s. It is a brass heart shaped lock, stamped H.R.R. on the front of its shackle. On the back it is stamped with maker Wilson Bohannan's Brooklyn, NY mark, and a patent date of June 25, 1878. The number 87 is Bohannan's number for that particular model padlock.
We are virtually certain this lock is from the Housatonic Railroad an early, important line in western Connecticut and Massachusetts. It is possible it is from a different railway with the same reporting mark. We've spoken to several long-term collectors about it.
We do not have a key that works with it, but it is a terrific display with clear, early stamping, a great patina and deep rich chestnuty-brass color.
It does show use but no damage or anything worse than some light surface bumps and dings.
According to Wikipedia: The Housatonic Railroad (originally [mis]spelled 'Ousatonic Railroad'), was chartered in May 1836 to build a line from Bridgeport, Connecticut north to the Massachusetts state line, along the valley of the Housatonic River. On February 19, 1840, regular service began from Bridgeport to New Milford, and on December 1, 1842 it opened to the state line. The following decades were filled with growth, mergers, leases and takeovers in this important New England region. Finally, on July 1, 1892 the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad leased the Housatonic, forming the Berkshire Division; it was merged on March 29, 1898.
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