Re: restoring brass hardware on windows
To restore brass hardware: clean it with a short soak in ammonia, then buff with a fine wire wheel, and end up polishing it with a medium felt wheel with jeweler's rouge. It will look better than new, and then you can lacquer it if you wish.
But your "rust" comment makes me believe that it's not solid brass, probably plated over steel/iron. So you will probably not get much further than the wire brush before all the plating is gone.
Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.