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Objects and Artifacts - Furnishings - Household Accessory - Padlock

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Padlock and Keys from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372

Padlock and Keys from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372
Date: 1840-1950
These padlock and keys were collected from the Plowboy site in Shawnee County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. Padlocks have been used since the Roman era, though the style shown here were much more common to post 1840. The keys shown do not unlock the padlock. The Plowboy site was home to the Kansa, the Potawatomi, and Euro-Americans. At various times, the site contained a farm, a trading post, and a post office with nearby military trails, Mormon routes, a railroad and the California-Oregon trail.


Padlock from 14JO55

Padlock from 14JO55
Date: 1820-1869
This nearly complete padlock was recovered from the surface of a site in Johnson County, on what was then the Shawnee Reserve. It is unclear whether the site was a Shawnee farmstead or the Chouteau trading house for the Shawnee. The padlock was cleaned by electrolysis which passes an electrical current through a liquid solution to separate the rust from the artifact. Cleaning had to stop before all of the rust was removed as the artifact began to fragment.


Railroad padlock

Railroad padlock
Creator: Slaymaker Lock Company
Date: between 1888 and 1920
Steel and brass padlock and key, made by the Slaymaker Lock Company of Lancaster, Pa. The padlock was made for the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway, known as the "Frisco," and the key for the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, known as the "Katy."


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