Jail key used to open Cell Block F on the fifth floor of the Dallas City Jail, including Cell F-2, which first housed Lee Harvey Oswald and later Jack Ruby. The key measures 4.5″ long and is stamped, “T.J. Tysdale Jail Co. St. Louis, MO. 104,” and was carried and used by Assistant Jailer Henry Ellison. Key is accompanied by a 1998 letter of provenance from Ellison, which reads, in part: “This letter is to certify that this jail key is from the Dallas City Jail and was used to open cell block F on the fifth floor jail which contained cell F-2, the same cell where Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby were incarcerated. I was on duty as Assistant Jailer of the Service Division of the Dallas Police Department November 22, 1963 when Oswald was brought into jail from the Texas Theatre capture, I searched him, unlocked the handcuffs, and helped place him in cell F-2…Cell Block F had only one lock box. Using this key would unlock the lock box, set a lever to the door that we wanted to open and then raise a large lever that would cause the door to slide open…Oswald was in cell F-2 Friday, November 22nd, Saturday, November 23rd, and Sunday, November 24th, 1963, and after Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby during the transfer from the City Jail to the County Jail, Jack Ruby was then placed in that same cell F-2 Sunday, November 24, 1963.” The key and letter are matted and framed, along with a photo of Ellison in uniform, with the key hanging from his belt, and a color image of the inside of the cell, to an overall size of 24 x 14.5. In fine condition. RR Auction COA.
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