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Object ID # 1959.023.007
Object Name Key
Title Gaol Door Key (19th-century)
Lexicon category 2: Building Furnishings
Date 19th-century
Year Range from 1854
Year Range to 1890
Artist Unidentified maker
Made Unknown
Place of Origin Unknown
Description A large-sized iron gaol door key, from the 19th-century. The handle end has a ovoid shape with a slight tip shape present on the inside surface. The ovoid loop is flat front and back and is slightly heart-shaped. The shank is thick and has three rings decorating it, as well as two more before the insertion area of the key. The insertion end is very large (4.3 cm high) and has two mirror-image teeth with a stepped design to them. There is no maker's identification.
Provenance The key was formerly used at the Grey County gaol at Owen Sound, Ontario in the 19th-century.
The newly-created County of Grey had provisional status until its Courthouse and gaol (jail) could be built in the early 1850s. The limestone structure, built by Scottish masons, fronted Bay Street, which is now known as 3rd Ave. East, Owen Sound, Ontario. The gaol in its early days was considered very insecure, so improvements were made over the years. It is not known if this key dates to the 1850s, or if it was acquired later on. Edward Miller and John Miller served as the County's first gaolers.
Collection Organizational/Government Collection
Material Iron
Dimensions W-5 L-16.5 D-1.5 cm
Found Owen Sound, Grey County
People Butchart, George Webster
Miller, John
Subjects Keys (Hardware)
Search Terms Grey County Courthouse & Gaol (Jail)
Function A key that was formerly used at the Grey County gaol (jail) building at Owen Sound in the 19th-century.