This brass Yale lock appears to have been shop stamped VGN on the dust cover and down the back panel, from the Virginian Railway. The key is unmarked but it is a good working pair.
THE LOCK is brass, made by Yale. Both front and back have a pebbled surface and the shackle is round. The clevis pin and loop swing freely, and the attached chain appears to be original. This appears to be a later lock dating toward the end of service. It works very well with the key. The internal spring is excellent -- the dust cover resists being pushed aside and snaps closed hard when released. The only issue is that the dust cover was "squashed" when someone attempted to stamp VGN into it -- somewhat unsightly but only cosmetic with no effect on anything.
THE KEY is brass, a good one with rich color and patina. It has no markings of any kind but it appears to have the same bit cut as the marked Virginian key shown in Knous' 2011 Price Guide, and it interchanges with a "twin" Yale lock (our item 6580) that has a VGN marked key.
BACKGROUND: The Virginian Railway (reporting mark VGN) was a Class I railroad located in Virginia and West Virginia in the United States. It was in operation between 1907 and 1959 when it was taken over by the Norfolk & Western. According to Wikipedia: The Virginian Railway was conceived by a brilliant civil engineer, coal mining manager, and entrepreneur, William Nelson Page, who had a millionaire industrialist, Henry Huttleston Rogers, as a partner. Together, they built a well-engineered railroad that was virtually a "conveyor belt on rails" to transport high quality "smokeless" bituminous coal from southern West Virginia to port on Hampton Roads, near Norfolk, Virginia. Completed in 1909, the Virginian Railway was largely financed through Rogers' personal fortune. It was a modern well-engineered railroad with all-new infrastructure and could operate more efficiently than its larger competitors. I t achieved best efficiencies in the mountains, rolling piedmont, and flat tidewater terrain. Known for operating some of the largest and best steam, electric, and diesel motive power, it became nicknamed "Richest Little Railroad in the World."
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