This switch key from the Wabash Railroad is a terrific display with the name fully spelled out in tall block letters: WABASH. On the reverse side of the bow is stamped serial number 8756 and maker mark ADLAKE. Note the larger size of ADLAKE, which dates it to the first decades of the 20th century.
Condition is extremely nice, with its bit edges worn just smooth, the condition collectors prefer documenting use. The color is an appealing, rich, darkened brass. There are NO bends, twists, or metal damage.
The Wabash railway was named for the Wabash River, a 475-mile river that flows southwest from northwest Ohio across northern Indiana to Illinois, where it forms the southern portion of the Illinois-Indiana border before draining into the Ohio River. The word "Wabash" is an Anglicization of "Ouabache," the French name for the river. French traders named the river after the native Miami tribe's word for the river.
The Wabash Railroad operated in the mid-central United States from its earliest beginnings in 1837 until 1964. It served a large area, with track in the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Missouri and the province of Ontario, Canada. Its primary connections included Chicago, Illinois; Kansas City, Missouri; Detroit, Michigan; Buffalo, New York; St. Louis, Missouri; and Toledo, Ohio.
The Wabash's major freight traffic advantage was its direct line from Kansas City to Detroit that avoided both St. Louis and Chicago. Despite being merged into the Norfolk & Western Railway in 1964, the Wabash company continued to exist on paper until the N&W merged into the Norfolk Southern Railway in 1982.
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Vintage WABASH Railroad Brass Switch Key by Adlake