This is an extremely nice brass switch key from the Erie Railroad. It has a strong, sharp and clear Diamond E logo on one side of the bow. On the other side is stamped ADLAKE. This key is a great example with just the right amount of wear, great patina and appealing color.
According to Wikipedia, The Erie Railroad operated in the northeastern United States, originally connecting Jersey City, New Jersey with Lake Erie. Chartered in 1832 as the New York & Erie, the railway grew with many branches and huge expenses. Due to financial problems, in 1861 it went bankrupt and was reorganized and renamed the Erie Railway. After struggling for several decades, it still did not see profits and via bankruptcy was sold in 1878 to become the New York, Lake Erie & Western Railroad. By 1893, the New York, Lake Erie &Western Railroad went into bankruptcy reorganization again, and emerged in 1895 as the Erie Railroad. This resulted in improvements and success. Despite the ravages of the Great Depression, the Erie managed to hold its own, until it entered bankruptcy yet again in 1938. This time, its reorganization, accomplished by December 1941, was much more successful and it prospered through the 1950s. The business recession that occurred in the 1950s inspired the Erie to explore the idea of partnering with the nearby Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad (DL&W). Results included abandoning duplicate freight facilities, shifting passenger trains from the Erie's former Jersey City terminal to the DL&W's newer one and abandoning the DL&W's main line between Binghamton and Elmira in favor of the Erie's parallel main line. These successful consolidations led to merger talks and on October 17, 1960, the two railroads merged to create the Erie Lackawanna Railroad.
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