A very rare find from the antique Central Vermont Railroad, which operated between 1872 and 1899, this is a smaller oil can with a fabulous applied side label.
The label is sheet metal and approximately 2.5 inches wide, with CVRR standing out beautifully in raised letters.
The rather homely orange is old paint that should be removed, but it's helped prevent rust and pitting all these years. Almost certainly it was painted by one of the railway workers, with the blazing color possibly to keep it from getting misplaced due to its small size, or maybe to identify what was inside.
SIZE is absolutely appealing, smaller than a one-gallon jug! It is approximately 8 inches tall to the top of the cap, and the round portion is approximately 5.5 inches in diameter. Note the heavy bottom band for reinforcement.
CONDITION is extremely good for its age and hard use. It is all original with a skim of oil remaining inside that has kept it rust-free. The only missing part is a short chain that would have attached the screw lid to the body (there is a tiny slot in the lid for the chain attachment). There are surface bumps and dings all over. The worst two are pushed-in dents on the round shoulder, and the spout shows signs of being pushed backwards itself but not badly.
The screw cap works perfectly on good threads that are not cross-threaded. The handle is original but bent in places. The "ears" holding the handle are original and firmly attached.
FROM WIKIPEDIA: The Vermont Central Railroad operated only between 1872 and 1899. Its parent, the Vermont Central, was established in 1843. After decades of expansion, acquisitions and mergers, the Vermont Central in 1870 leased the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain Railroad and then in 1871, also leased the Rutland Railroad system and the New London Northern Railroad of Connecticut. Following those acquisitions, the VCRR in 1872 changed its name to the Central Vermont Railroad.
Over the coming years, the CVRR would operate in the states of Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Connecticut, as well as the Canadian province of Quebec. Following more years and more takeovers, mergers and leases, it went into receivership in 1896, when it separated the Rutland Railroad, which became its own entity. The CVRR was sold at foreclosure in 1899 and was reorganized as the Central Vermont Railway.
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