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Porter's keys

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Porter's keys
Smithsonian Institution


This object appears in the following sections:

Lives on the Railroad: Salisbury, North Carolina, 1927
Lives on the Railroad: Salisbury, North Carolina, 1927 — Pullman Porter

Porter’s clothes brush

Key set
Catalog #: 1985.0552.02, Accession #: 1985.0552
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
The keys were used by the donor, Henry Taylor, on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. There are berth keys, locker keys, and car compartment keys.
Physical Description
artifact. Twelve keys of various sizes, shapes and metals on a ring. The ring has a clip that could attach to a chain or belt. A few with “L&N” stamped into surface.
Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee
Gift of Henry Taylor

A porter or other railroad crew member needed many keys in the course of his duties. A porter carried keys to unlock storage cabinets in supply rooms and in sleeping cars, to gain entrance to passenger compartments for housekeeping, and to secure equipment in his assigned car. The L&N stamp indicates that these keys were for use on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad.

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