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Vintage Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Switch Lock and Key G&WRR
Here is a harder to find switch lock and key set from the Genesee & Wyoming Railroad. They are a good pair.
THE LOCK is steel and is stamped G&WRY on the front of its shackle. There is a Slaymaker arrow logo stamped on the dust cover, over LANC. PA U.S.A. (Lancaster, Pennsylvania). On the other side of the shackle is stamped the letter S and the date 1962. It has darkened to an attractive deep gunmetal gray. The internal spring is strong: the dust cover resists being slid to the side and snaps closed over the keyhole on its own when released. The clevis pin is a bit "sticky" but the loop swings all the way across. attached to several links of what is almost certainly original chain. There is no rust at all, but a lot of shallow surface pitting (not surprising, given its use by a salt handling operation). HOWEVER it feels smooth to the touch, not scratchy.
IMPORTANT: This lock has seen a lot of use -- SEE OUR LAST PICTURE -- it locks closed securely but there is a lot of play in the shackle. It opens if you turn the key in EITHER direction.
THE KEY is brass and from the shape we are guessing it is also a Slaymaker but the only marking is G&WRR stamped on one side of its bow. It is definitely the correct key for this lock, although it shows only a little wear. The color is darkening nicely.
BACKGROUND from Wikipedia: The Genesee & Wyoming Railroad was a short-line railroad in western New York state that was purchased out of bankruptcy in 1899 by an investor named Edward L. Fuller. At that time, the G&W was operating as a 14.5 mile long single-track line serving a single customer, a salt mine owned by Fuller in Retsof, New York, hauling salt to the village of Caledonia. Headquarters were in the nearby city of Rochester. It was still operating the same line for the salt mine when Mortimer B. Fuller III, great-grandson of Edward L. Fuller, purchased the railroad in 1977. A holding company, Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Inc., was organized during the same year, and the railroad became its subsidiary, lasting until it was absorbed into the Rochester & Southern Railroad system in 2003.
The Genesee & Wyoming was the first railroad in today's global G&W corporation "family" of shortlines all over the world. "G&W Orange", that began on the G&W railroad, can today be seen on railroads all over the world.
COLLECTOR NOTE: Even in New York, G&W relics are difficult to find.
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