This is an attractive example of a Michigan Central Railroad key. We found the cut shown in both our American Railways switch key directory and Johnson's Guide to North American Railroad Keys.
It is stamped MCRR in serif Roman letters on one side of the bow and a letter S on the other. The stamping is crisp and clear, a fine display. There is no maker mark. With age, this key has developed a very attractive deep color, but the bit edges and barrel end are just barely rounded smooth, showing very little wear.
IMPORTANT: Two long blackish lines along the barrel on the back are NOT ! cracks or splits. They are lightest surface marks, COSMETIC ONLY, difficult to find even when you use a fingernail. They are so shallow, you can miss them but the color gives them away. The black is "age fill" that we did not make any attempt to remove.
This is not an antique key, it likely dates from when the Michigan Central was an independent subsidiary under the control of the New York Central.
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