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Sherburne & Co.

Sherburne is best known for things other than baggage checks. They were always located in the Boston Massachusetts. The 1901 Catalog clearly states that they started business in 1865. The 1901 location was 53 Oliver Street, Boston, Massachusetts. The image of the business card below has two very interesting pieces of information:

1. Charles Sherburne started out as an employee of Williams & Page (another early famous Boston railroad supply company)
2. an earlier location at 51 Water Street.
The Water street address would be the earlier of the two. The plug of past employment at a respected supplier makes this an early piece. The hallmark ratings are based on years of collecting and careful observation. When I first saw a key without the MASS designation, it was obvious that these items are very rare.

The most interesting thing about Sherburne manufactured locks is the common error associated with a broken die at the factory. Ever since I can remember most people refer to these incorrectly as SHEPBURNE and not SHERBURNE, simply because the leg of the "R" broke off. No they are not two different makers, the die simply broke. Another interesting thing about Sherburne locks is the practice of using the key die to stamp locks. The most common mark on locks is a nice wide arc of the company name on the shackle (arm the swings to lock/unlock). The rarer thing is to find the small key die used to stamp on the right shoulder of the lock face plate. I have examples of this from the Eastern and Cape Cod railroads. I have not seen the broken lock die used on any locks prior to the 1880s.
 Scarcity rating

Sherburne Shell check with paper insert
The paper insert has been removed. Shell checks don't usually have numbers. The cardstock inserts were far cheaper to produce. The passenger receipt would also be made of cardstock. 

Sherburne very early business card
Note the early address on Water Street. The reverse side is blank and has the original price to me of $18.00. What a find.

Sherburne Advertising watch fob
Note that the tender on the engine has SHERBURNE & CO in raised letters. The reverse has MIDVALE STEEL CO on the perimeter and also has the 53 Oliver Street address. I can't make out the maker on the very bottom, even using magnification 

Sherburne match strike
Match strikes were often found in passenger cars. An employee would strike their match on the rough surface. There are two details that are very hard to see on the front (1) The Sherburne name is stamped vertically on the left side and (2) B&M RR is crudely stamped around the right mounting hole. These front marks are not common. This is the only match strike from this company with this detail that I know of. 

The reverse clearly has the company name and the part number. Because the strike plate is raised on the front, the recessed back preserved the raised company name a part number 15

This image was enlarged for detail. The actual length is 3 1/2" 

Sherburne early tapered barrel switch keys
From left to right:

key 1 - Boston Hartford & Erie RR with the earliest hallmark serial number 133 (no MASS) ca. 1864 - 1873
key 2 - believed to be Concord RR again with no MASS in the hallmark ca. 1842 - 1889
key 3 - Southeastern RR - Canadian road that linked with northern New England
key 4 - Boston & Lowell RR White Mountain Division (Boston Concord & Montreal switch cut bit)
key 5 - Boston & Maine RR Lowell System (unknown cut bit, Central Mass?)
key 6 - Boston & Maine RR Lowell System  (Boston & Lowell switch cut bit)

Note that 5 of these keys have the "S" for "Switch" designation stamped at the 5:00 or 6:00 position.

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