Need help finding info on antique CNO&TP brass switch padlock??

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#1
Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum and joined up because I found something interesting while out metal detecting the other day around chattanooga. It appears to be a Cincinnati New Orleans & Texas Pacific railroad switch lock. Supposedly this is the rail line that inspired the song "Chattanooga Choo Choo". Looks they broke the key off in the lock and had to drill it out from the back. Considering the depth found and condition of the lock, I would assume it has been in the ground for a long time. It has a makers mark of "Post & Co. Cincinnati OH". I need help narrowing down a date for this lock and possible value. I could find little information online about Post & CO. other than some old newspaper ads from the 1870's and 1880's. If it has any historical value I may donate it to the local RR museum.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks :) IMG_3851.jpg IMG_3853.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:
A

atsfrr

Guest
#2
Congrats on an awesome find! Post & Company was a major railroad supply house in business from 1870 through the 1890s. The lock you found is called a "fancyback" lock which refers to the ornate style of lettering cast into the back of the lock. Post & Co. made fancyback locks for several railroads including the CW&B and L&N, as well as the CNO&TP. Your lock was probably manufactured in the 1880's or 1890's. In good condition these locks can bring well over $1000 from an advanced collector. In "relic" condition, your lock is probably worth a few hundred dollars.
 
#3
Thanks!

Congrats on an awesome find! Post & Company was a major railroad supply house in business from 1870 through the 1890s. The lock you found is called a "fancyback" lock which refers to the ornate style of lettering cast into the back of the lock. Post & Co. made fancyback locks for several railroads including the CW&B and L&N, as well as the CNO&TP. Your lock was probably manufactured in the 1880's or 1890's. In good condition these locks can bring well over $1000 from an advanced collector. In "relic" condition, your lock is probably worth a few hundred dollars.
Thanks for the help! I was hoping it was from that time period. The latest I saw any ads for Post & Company was 1892, so your date makes sense. Since I am a history buff, having a piece of Chattanooga railroad history is wonderful. Does anyone know if I should clean it better to try and restore the brass appearance, or should I leave it in its relic condition??
 

Shack

No Bo's Ride My Train!
#5
Do not try to clean or restore it. Many times that will actually lessen the value. Part of the intrinsic value of an antique is its patina.
 
#6
Had a guy from that antique locks website try to tell me they made those up till the 1940's and they were worth absolutely nothing. However I feel the info he gave is false, and he may have been referring to heart shaped padlocks in general. ALL the other locks I have seen manufactured by Post & Company have dated from the 1880's. Several of their patents all date from the late 1870's. I cannot find any locks made by them after 1890. Heck, I cannot even find any evidence that Post & Co was even still in business after the 1890's. Actually my research indicates the opposite. The railroad my lock was for started in 1880. I feel pretty confident on placing a date of 1880's on my lock. The patina, rusted chain, and depth found all indicated its age is definitely older than the 1940's. Think that guy was just trying to burst my bubble. I appreciate everyone's help and kind words. :)
 
#7
Hello I saw this thread and have a similar lock that I was looking for information about and would appreciate any info.

Well trying to get my photo added, I'm new to this forum.
 


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