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Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad key with PRR on back. What does the PRR stand for?

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    Posted 7 years ago

    (2 items)

    I have a brass Railroad key that is stamped on the front CMSTP and stamped on the back PRR and the manufacturer mark/logo ADLAKE.
    Does anyone know what the PRR stands for on the back of the key?
    I have several Milwaukee Road keys and depending on how old they are the railroad initials are CM&STPRY, CM&STPRR or CMSTP&PRR and a couple of other variations. The oldest keys are CM&STPRY (Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway) and when they added the line to the Pacific area they started stamping the keys CMSTP&PRR (Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad).
    On this key that is stamped CMSTP on the front and PRR on the back, did someone just mess up and put part of the letters on the back or does the PRR stand for something? I can't think of anything PRR would stand for. Maybe someone just stamped an unmarked key so it would sale.
    The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad is one that used many different keys for many different things so I don't know if this PRR stands for something or the person that stamped the key just put part of the railroad initials on the back. I have never seen this bit cut on any Milwaukee Road keys. The key is thicker than other CMSTP&PRR keys. The brass is a lighter color than the older keys so I think it is a newer key from the 1960's or 1970's.
    Check out the 3 pictures and if you recognize the bit cut or know anything about this key stamping please let me know.
    Thanks, Jerr

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    1. pajrr pajrr, 7 years ago
      I had a key like this. I think the "PRR" may be a continuation of "CMStP&PRR". Was there any joint trackage between the 2 lines anywhere? Sometimes dual marked keys were used on areas of joint trackage. The keys would be a cut used by the two sharing lines. They would work locks in the joint areas only and would not work locks on non-shared trackage for obvious reasons.
    2. UncleRon UncleRon, 7 years ago
      Around here PRR stands for Pennsylvania Railroad. Being from PA I see a lot of fake PRR keys in antique/collectible shops. Some look like older unused key blanks with badly aligned stampings on them and some are so poorly made that it's obvious they never really keys at all.
    3. UncleRon UncleRon, 7 years ago
      I don't know anything about RR keys but on close inspection of you pictures I have a few observations. Compare this key to other keys in your collection. I note that this key has a grainy surface all-over and shows no wear or indication of use (particularly inside the barrel and inside the grip-hole where it should have been on a ring). The flag has only the front guide notch; there are no ward notches, unique to a particular lock, on its lower edge (looks like a fresh key blank). The grip-hole is beveled on the inside (due to the casting process). Shouldn't it have been drilled out smooth? I can't tell from the pics but look at the letters closely; are they stamped (clean, smooth edges inside the grooves)?; are they part of the casting (grainy within the grooves)?; are the endpoints of the letters squared off or are they round? If round they were made with a pantograph milling machine, not stamped (I doubt that the RRs marked them that way).

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