M933.31.1 | Spike

 
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Spike
1835-1836, 19th century
Metal
3 x 4.5 x 31 cm
Gift of the Estate of Mr. Harry Cohn
M933.31.1
© McCord Museum
Description
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Keys to History

This spike was apparently used on the rails of the first Canadian railway company, the Champlain & Saint Lawrence Railroad, which joined Saint John (now Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu) and La Prairie. Spikes, fastened to wooden ties set perpendicular to the rails, hold the rails in place. The spikes are driven into the ties through holes in the metal plate on which the rail rests; the head of the spike grips the rail base.