Cast iron key, 7 in. long, with "Libby" one side (presumably "Prison" on the other as with similar commemorative keys, however, key was not removed from mount for inspection). Housed in wood frame, 14.125 x 12.25 in., and mounted below image of a Libby Prison War Museum admittance ticket. [With:] Libby Prison War Museum promotional postcard, ca early 1890s, approx. 5.5 x 3.25 in., featuring a color lithograph of the museum by "Gast Lith. Co., New York & Chicago." Verso with brief description of the attraction, and the disclaimer that "No sectional animosity is intended - no North, no South - but a fair representation of the great Civil War, from both Northern and Southern standpoints."
Richmond's infamous Libby Prison was dismantled in 1889, the pieces shipped by rail to Chicago, and the structure rebuilt in its entirety to serve as a museum. It was most popular in 1893, the year of both the World's Columbian Exposition (Chicago World's Fair) and the combined GAR and UCV Annual Reunion. It was dismantled for good in 1895 and pieces of the structure sold off as souvenirs. Its possible that the key was made from some of the original iron from the prison bars, etc.
Provenance:The Civil War Collection of Dennis C. Schurr
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