This is a newer brass switch key from the Missouri Pacific Railroad. It is stamped MPCO on one side of its bow. On the other side is stamped the name of its maker, SLAYMAKER. It appears to have had little or no use, and may well be "new old stock," ordered by the railway, but never put into service.
This key is darkening nicely and would be a great starter for a new collector, or a trader for one from someone else.
The Missouri Pacific Railroad (reporting mark MP), commonly abbreviated MoPac, was one of the first railroads in the United States west of the Mississippi River. A Class I railroad, it arose from dozens of predecessors and mergers. Its headquarters were located in St. Louis, Missouri. It ran through the U. S. states of Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. From its beginning in 1851, it ran until 1980 when the Union Pacific Corporation, parent company of the Union Pacific Railroad, agreed to buy it. Lawsuits filed by competing railroads delayed approval of the merger however, until September 1982, and the Missouri Pacific was no more.
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