1897 Railroad Gold Bullion Strong Box

This is an 1897 Railroad Gold Bullion Strong Box in good condition.

It was made by the Vanderman Mfg. Co. of Willimantic, Conn. and patented July 13, 1897. It is made of 1/16'' steel which was formed into a rectangular shape and on the top are wood staves riveted to the steel as 'bumpers.' The body of the box is constructed of formed and riveted pieces of steel which occupy the entire front, bottom and side panels. The two end panels are attached by connected and overlapping folds that are riveted on 1'' centers. T are continuous bumpers horizontally around the top and bottom of the box and others along the top and bottom rims.
The lid is attached by riveted hinges sealed in part under the top bumper stave. The corners have custom fit steel reinforcing at every outside edge point. T is a Vanderman brass plaque at the lower center of the front panel, the locking mechanism which is missing is a hasp riveted to the lid and body. Additional locking mechanisms are in each of the two upper corners of the lid and body win railroad style locks were used to secure bolts which are no longer present. T is minor wood damage on the left top front corner.
T is a large 12'' handle on each end, each of which fits two hands, and t are two 8'' handles on the front and two 8'' handles on the back so that four people can comfortably carry it. Each handle features a stop mechanism that doesn't allow the handle to go beyond a 90 degree position so that no hands could be crushed due to the excessive weight which this kind of box typically holds. One smaller strong box nearly identical to this was used by the Colorado Midland Railroad during the Cripple Creek Rush in Colorado.
This antique bullion strongbox is an important piece of railroad and gold rush Americana in which huge gold bullion shipments were made. It has an estimated auction value more than $2600, measures on the exterior 19''x20''x39'' and weighs approximately 125 pounds.

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