early 1880's adams & westlake cast brass interior railroad car door hardware. the cast brass door hardware consists of a surface or rim lock, working key, escutcheon and two round brass doorknobs. the skeleton key has the railroad's initials incised above the opening. the central pacific railroad was the california-to-utah portion of the first transcontinental railroad in north america. many proposals to build a transcontinental railroad failed because of the disputes over slavery in washington; with the secession of the south, the modernizers in the republican party took over congress and passed the necessary legislation and financing in the form of government railroad bonds which were all eventually repaid with interest. the government and the railroads both shared in the increased value of the land grants, and the government also saved a great deal on the expenses for the transportation of the mails and the military. it was planned by theodore judah, authorized by congress in 1862 and financed and built through "the big four" (who also called themselves "the associates"), who were sacramento, california businessmen leland stanford, collis huntington, charles crocker, and mark hopkins. crocker was in charge of construction; much of the labor were chinese workers. the first rails were laid in 1863 and the golden spike, connecting it to the union pacific railroad to promontory, utah, was hammered on may 10, 1869. coast-to-coast travel in 8 days now replaced wagon trains or months-long sea voyages. in 1885 the central pacific railroad was leased by the southern pacific company, though it technically remained a corporate entity until 1959 when it was formally merged into southern pacific. (it was reorganized in 1899 as the central pacific railway.) the original right of way is now part of the union pacific which purchased southern pacific in 1996. the union pacific-central pacific (southern pacific) mainline followed the historic overland route from omaha to san francisco bay.