How do you tell the difference between the original and the reproduction master key sets?
I have seen some with steel keys/brass rivet. Also I have seen brass keys.
They were probably made by more than one supplier, like most Ford parts.
There were several manufacturers of original master key sets. Sometimes you can find them with the name of the manufacturer on it.
As far as I know, I am the only one making the reproduction master key sets. I tried to duplicate the original as exact as I could. I invested in four custom made stamps to stamp the numbers into the keys. Even so, there are some slight differences which enable me to tell my reproduction from the original one that I used as a pattern. I don't know what all the other originals look like so I can't comment on those.
The key to the left is an original.
The key in the center is a reproduction that has been on my key ring for the past year.
The key on the right is a brand new reproduction.
There are two differences:
1. The 1 in the number 51 on the original is just a straight line while on the repro it has the flag at the top.
2. The OD of the rivet on the original is slightly larger than the one on the repro.
Bob, thank you for the information.
I see one set that is brass that has a 1, 2, 3, 4
on the respective key each in a circle.
David, oops, sorry I typo's on your name.
David, your repros look almost identical to the set I have, except mine have a steel rivet.
I'm pretty sure mine are originals as I've had them since 1956
When I did these I had one original set that I used as a pattern. I know that there were quite a few different companies that made these. I'm sure that they are all a little bit different. If you've had yours since 56, I would bet that they are originals. I don't know of anyone who has reproduced these before I did mine last year.