Laser Marking the Key to the City

First Recipient of Washington D.C.'s newest Key:  Republic of South Africa President, Thabo Mbeki
First Recipient of Washington D.C.’s newest Key: Republic of South Africa President, Thabo Mbeki

A consortium of technology companies has come together to produce a new take on Washington D.C.’S “Key to the City”. The key, a symbolic token of welcome to its recipients, has been redesigned to reflect bold new advances in technology.

Renowned sculptor John Dreyfuss ( assembled a team of experts to produce his innovative design. Precision CAD/CAM Systems of hunt Valley, MD utilized cutting-edge software to generate a 3D model of the new City Key. Art Research Enterprises, of York, PA, used this model to forge the final results in steel.


Key to the City

The heavy, uniquely created key was then delivered to Lenox Laser, of Glen Arm, MD for some important finishing touches. Precision, deep laser engraving was required to exhibit sharp, contrasting text to exacting tolerances. Lenox Laser used high power laser marking technology to mark the unique geometric surface of the key.

South African President, Mr. Thabo Mbeki, is reported to be the first visitor formally welcomed with the gift of the city’s new key.

Reading “Justicia Omnibus” on one side and declaring “Opportunity For All” on the reverse, the revised key symbolized the spirit and true heart of America’s great capital city. Lenox Laser is privileged to have taken part in this exciting, historical project.

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