Both pieces of this good railroad switch lock and key set are marked JCL , for Jersey Central Lines, another name of the Central Railroad of New Jersey. A matching pair made by Adlake, they work very well together.
THE KEY is brass, stamped JCL on one side of its bow and ADLAKE with serial number 31379 on the other. There is "perfect" wear with a bit of finger polish on the bow and the bit edges and barrel end just nicely worn smooth from use. The color has darkened into an attractive deep golden.
THE LOCK is steel with a brass shackle. It is marked Adlake down the top of the dust cover and stamped JCL on the back of the body. A number 74 is stamped into the pin holding the shackle and a number 13 is stamped into the shackle itself. The patent number on the back was issued to the inventor of this type of lock in the 1920s and is not relevant to this individual lock. The attached chain is original. Condition is extremely nice with only light surface grunge and no further damage. The internal spring is very strong: the dustcover resists being pushed aside and when released, it snaps shut sharply over the keyhole.
BACKGROUND: The Central Railroad of New Jersey, also known as the Jersey Central or Jersey Central Lines, was a Class I railroad with origins in the 1830s. From its Headquarters in New York City it operated in the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and the New York City metropolitan area, surviving mergers, leases and three bankruptcies, until it was government-forced to merge with several other northeastern lines into what became the Consolidated Rail Corporation -- Conrail -- in 1976.
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