This key from the Delaware & Hudson Railroad is stamped D&HCO indicating that it dates from the period between 1898 and 1928, when the D&H was transitioning out of the canal business into land transportation, i.e., a fully railroad operation. Its marker FRAIM stamp dates from the same general time period.
Such an interesting appearing key with a larger than usual, flat bow! It is in just the right collector condition, with attractive pocket wear, signs of use but NO metal damage and just a gorgeous color. The large barrel is fully 1/4 inch wide to accommodate a 3/16 inch pin in a lock.
This key is perfect to fill a time gap that may be present in many D&H lock and key collections.
BACKGROUND: Claiming the title of "North America's oldest continually operated transportation company," the D&H began as the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company, started up in 1823 in New York and Pennsylvania, building a system of canals initially to carry coal. The Delaware & Hudson name originates from the 1823 New York state corporation charter authorizing "The President, Managers and Company of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Co." to establish "water communication" between the Delaware River and the Hudson River.
To move the coal from mines, a rail line was constructed, and in 1829 the company made history when its first steam locomotive, "The Stourbridge Lion," became the first locomotive to run on rails in the United States. Looking to expand by placing more emphasis on the rail side of the business and phasing out its water operations, the word "Canal" was dropped from the name in 1898, and "Delaware & Hudson Company" became the official name, a public statement that it was out of the canal business.
After several decades of expansion and purchasing other railway lines, the D&H in 1928 again changed its name, to "Delaware & Hudson Railroad." Nicknamed "The Bridge Line to New England and Canada," the D&H helped connect New York with Montreal, Quebec and New England.
As the D&H RR, it operated for many years until 1968, when it was reorganized as the Delaware & Hudson Railway. After numerous transfers and a bankruptcy, the D&H Railway in 1991 was purchased by Canadian Pacific Railway. It is operating today in the northeastern United States, as a subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific.
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