Help us find this key--or as close to it as possible
September 8, 2016 6:21 PM   Subscribe

My friend just introduced me to and older SyFy miniseries called The Lost Room, and I've gotten a little obsessed. I found replicas of the key fob featured in the show, but I haven't found anything close to the key itself. Here's a collage of images of the key from the show.

I know there are a wide variety of wacky key types in the world. Is this one of them? If so, what is that type of key called? If not, have you seen anything similar? It would be so awesome to find this!
posted by rhiannonstone to Shopping (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
That is an old-school hotel key, back when hotel keys were actual mechanical things. You used to find them primarily at motels along major US highways. I remember using them in the 70s/80s.

A search on eBay turns up a bunch:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/HOLIDAY-INN-Milwaukee-Wisconsin-Vintage-Hotel-Key-Free-Shipping-/112126820227
http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-BALSAMS-GRAND-RESORT-HOTEL-ROOM-KEY-TAG-FOB-HAMPSHIRE-HOUSE-/371527371395
http://www.ebay.com/itm/RAMADA-INN-Ottawa-IL-Vintage-Hotel-Key-Free-Shipping-/112126821187
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tacoma-Washington-Vintage-TACOMA-HOTEL-ROOM-KEY-/371728209107

The best part was the ability to return the key by mail if you walked off with it - which I remember my parents doing on multiple occasions!
posted by scolbath at 6:29 PM on September 8, 2016


Oops, sorry if I wasn't clear. We have the plastic keychain bit with the hotel logo sorted--it's the actual key-that-goes-into-the-lock part I'm looking for.
posted by rhiannonstone at 6:33 PM on September 8, 2016


If we're talking about the key tag, I think they're just called "hotel key tags." If we're talking about the key itself, here are a few links to similarly shaped blanks.
posted by kindachris at 6:36 PM on September 8, 2016


This locksmith guide says it's a "Corbin" key. Which is a brand.

They have a website. But it looks like Home Depot may carry blank Corbin Russwin keys but you may need a coordinating lock for then to cut one and have it work.
posted by Crystalinne at 6:52 PM on September 8, 2016


There's nothing particularly special about that key. You should be able to walk in to almost any hardware store and see a blank for it. This image was the second image that popped up for me in a search of "key blank" on google.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 6:59 PM on September 8, 2016


If it helps, here are a few close ups of the top of the key - that main image and several thumbnails on the right. It seems unembossed except for the circle of raised dots around the hole. It definitely seems to be a Russwin as Crystalinne has pointed out. I wonder what's on the reverse side.
posted by the webmistress at 7:04 PM on September 8, 2016


the webmistress, the main image there is not the same key--I don't think that image is from the show. But! Thank you for pointing out this closeup, which shows the things I find somewhat distinctive about this key, in that I don't see these features on any of the two dozen keys of various ages and provenances I have at hand right now:

-The shape of the shaft, particularly how high the middle ridgey bits are raised
-The flare of the shoulder
-The raised dots around the hole
posted by rhiannonstone at 7:14 PM on September 8, 2016


I found out a bit more about it. It's a Fair Oaks California Niessen 612A key and is not made anymore but some people are replicating it. Link Link Link
This person thinks it's a Schlage/Niessen fusion. Hope that helps!
posted by the webmistress at 7:39 PM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


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