This is an original matching set: The lock and key have matching numbers! From the Norfolk & Western Railway, the lock is stamped N.&W. on its body and number DW496 on the top between the shackle posts. The key has no railroad marks but is clearly stamped NW496 and is an older Slaymaker blank.
This padlock is a great display with an attractive brushed finish on its steel body, a shackle-mounted clevis and an almost certainly original chain. The maker name SLAYMAKER is molded deeply into the body on the side opposite the railroad stamping, below a molded in GENUINE PIN TUMBLER. The shackle is stamped HARDENED.
The key has no railroad marking, but its individual number confirms that it was made for this particular padlock.
Both pieces show light use but no abuse. They work extremely well together. The only thing we can possibly fault is some discoloration on the clevis, on the shackle under the clevis and in the word HARDENED.
BACKGROUND The Norfolk &Western Railway was a US Class I railroad formed by more than 200 mergers between 1838 and 1982. It was headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia, for most of its existence, with a motto of "Precision Transportation" This massive road boasted nearly 15,000 miles of track in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio; after additional mergers in the 1960s it added Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, New York, and Pennsylvania to the list of states where it operated. The beginning of the end came in 1980 when the N&W joined with the Southern Railway to create the Norfolk Southern Corporation Holding Company. In 1990 the Southern was renamed Norfolk Southern and gained full control of the N&W. By 1997, the N&W was fully absorbed into the Norfolk Southern Railway.
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