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Jul 5, 2012

Registered Mail gold shipment Treasury Post Office USPO RPO rotary lock padlock

Here is a nice example of a mail counter padlock.

1890s T-series Registered Mail lock This US Registered Mail lock has a cast case, shackle collar, and rotating shackle made of architectural bronze. It is circa 1890s but continued in usage through the 1920s, being repaired when necessary. Although ''rotary'' locks have been occasionally listed on eBay being described as the style selected by Harry Houdini for his renowned mail bag escape trick, prop photos reveal that he used this earlier style of lock that opened with a flat key that he concealed within his cheek. The obsolete flat-style key was assigned to the Treasury Department. Although registered mail shipments passed through the postal system with this lock, Post Office Department employees could not open those pouches with their standard-issue keys. Only U.S. Treasury personnel were assigned keys to unlock shipments of currency and coin. This included small quantities of gold coin prior to 1933. This lock is sold with a professionally-fitted reproduction key that operates the lock and is in excellent condition. There is a small bronze flap covering the rotary numbers ''in the window'' that is currently 0091, meaning it had been opened 91 times. The lock serial number is T 1268 and is ex-Mundy collection. All features of the lock are clear and distinct, even though the back view is fuzzy around the edges because used a camera which doesn't have much depth of field for close-up snapshots. Please check my other listings for other items that might be interesting collateral items for your collection. If you purchase one of those other lots, this group can be added for $4 covering incremental postage. There is never a reserve for any of my auctions. Locked pouches were transported aboard RPOs in the custody of the Railway Mail Clerk-in-Charge and the registry clerk. Proceeds benefit restoration of the Boyce, Virginia, railway station as well as monthly utility expenses. - eBay (17 June 2012)
This padlock had a high bid of $437.87 (Plus $8 Shipping).

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