This is a terrific brass lock and key set from the Georgia Railroad. Both are nicely marked GARR. The pair works smoothly and very well together, although the key was made by Adlake and the lock was made by Climax.
THE LOCK is stamped GARR in Roman letters on one side of the shackle. On the other is stamped JWHCLIMAX NEWARK NJ its maker. It is in extremely good working condition with a strong spring on the dust cover and opening and closing readily. Its steel clevis pin and loop are rust-free and move freely. The chain appears original. It is a fine display with a deep, rich color and great patina. There are some allover surface bumps and dings that don't detract (the worst on the shackle) that add interest and character. The lock appears to be somewhat older than the key.
THE KEY is brass, stamped GARR in block letters on one side of its bow, and ADLAKE near the number 302 on the other side. It is a very attractive, deep golden color. The bit edges and barrel end show just the right amount of use and it works great in this lock! There is a manufacturing flaw (NOT DAMAGE, see our picture) -- the metal did not completely come together on the surface, resulting in a shallow pit. This depression DOES NOT go all the way through the barrel and won't weaken the key in any way. There is a second, MUCH smaller depression farther up the barrel. Both are not visible if you display the key in the lock.
We do not see many deep south railway locks and keys. Here is a great set !
BACKGROUND: The Georgia Railroad is a very old line dating from the 1830s, running over approximately 300 miles of track. It was headquartered in the city of Augusta. Over its entire history it was intertwined with the banking industry, and the Georgia Railroad & Banking Company's rail operation carried both passengers and freight from the beginning. Early efforts were focused on traffic shipping cross-country from inland locations to the state's large ocean ports, to reach the large population centers to the north. The banking investors continued to expand the line, buying up competing railway operations that offered access to more distant locations.
In 1881, Colonel William M. Wadley, Central Railroad and Banking Company of Georgia president, leased the railroad properties of the Georgia Railroad and Banking Company, including the Atlanta & West Point (A&WP) and Western Railway of Alabama (WofA). Wadley assigned half of the lease to his company and half to the Louisville & Nashville (L&N). Following the Panic of 1896, the Central went into receivership and its portion of the lease lapsed, whereupon it was eventually reassigned to the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (ACL). In 1902, the ACL acquired controlling interest in the L&N, resulting in the Georgia, A&WP, and WofA becoming non-operating subsidiaries of the Atlantic Coast Line. Soon the ACL came to dominate the Augusta interchange traffic, in order that the Georgia Railroad could compete with the Seaboard Air Line Railroad and Southern Railway for traffic from Atlanta up the Eastern seaboard. Due to legal obligations set forth in its charter, the Georgia was perhaps the last railroad to operate both freight and passenger trains in the "Lower 48" United States, into the Amtrak era.
In 1967, ACL merged with the Seaboard Air Line Railroad to form the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (SCL). In the early 1970s, another SCL merger created the Family Lines System. Family Lines continued to operate the Georgia Railroad under its initial charter, maintaining the Georgia Railroad as a separate company, with Family Lines leasing the rail properties. 1983 saw the end of the Georgia Railroad as a separate company, after Family Lines purchased the railroad properties of the Georgia Railroad and Banking Company, which had until then been the subject of a lease. In 1986, SCL merged with the Chessie System, to form CSX Transportation. The same year, Georgia Railroad Bank was acquired by First Union.
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