This key from the New York Central Railroad is a pretty display with its rich, golden brass color and strong stamping.
On one side of its bow it is marked N.Y.C.R.R. in bold, block letters. On the other side, maker mark ADLAKE is stamped in the larger size lettering used from the 1920s until about 1940. This larger mark is not the most commonly found.
Condition is very good with some "finger polish" on the stamping. The key itself shows use with rounded bit and barrel ends.
If you look at the picture of the end of the barrel, you can see that the metal on one side of the hole is worn more than the other, but there are NO cracks or splits. It would appear from this use pattern that this key stayed with the same railroad man for a very long time.
BACKGROUND: The New York Central Railroad emerged in 1914 from a restructuring of the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad. It was informally known as the New York Central Lines until 1935, when that changed to New York Central System. It ended in 1968 when the US government forced it to merge with the Pennsylvania Railroad, forming the Pennsylvania Central Railroad Company, more commonly called Penn Central.
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Vintage New York Central Railroad Brass Switch Key