This key is a fine example of an almost-antique Canadian railroad key dating from between the late 1800s and the 1920s. It is stamped G.T.R. on one side of its bow with no marks on the other side. It stands out with a smaller than usual, narrower than usual bow on a standard diameter but shorter hollow barrel.
Condition is excellent with no metal damage and a deep, rich color and patina. The "R" in GTR has been worn away from "finger polish" over the years, documenting use as do the rounded edges its bit and the end of its barrel.
This is a superb "crossover" key from a rail line that was critical to both Canada and the United States. A fine addition to any strong collection of padlocks or keys.
The Grand Trunk Railway was a railroad system that operated from 1852 until 1923, in the Canada provinces of Quebec and Ontario, and in the American states of Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The railway was operated from Montreal, Quebec, It was a private company headquartered in London, England that received heavy Canadian government subsidies and was never profitable because of competition from shipping and American railways. (In 1880 40 percent of the Grand Trunk traffic was from one or another American city to and from Chicago, taking a shortcut across Ontario.)
The Grand Trunk, its subsidiaries, and the Canadian Government Railways were precursors of today's Canadian National Railways. The GTR's main line ran from Portland, Maine to Montreal, and then from Montreal to Sarnia, Ontario, where it joined its western subsidiary, the Grand Trunk Western Railroad which operated in Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. Its other major subsidiaries were the Central Vermont Railroad/Railway which operated in Quebec, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut; and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, which operated in Northwestern Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. .
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