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  1. #1

    Default Tompson Lock - Patent 1808

    I would be very interested in any articles, information or details of any books which would cover the subject of Tompson Locks. All I know is that they were more complicated than a Bramah at the time, in that they went up and then across 'on the horizon' to lock. His name was William Tompson and he applied for a Patent - No. 3188 - in 1808.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Does'nt ring any bells at all - do you have a copy of the patent - or an example of the lock ?

    Paul

  3. #3

    Default

    I have a photocopy of the patent - no 3188 - and will soon be acquiring a writing slope which has an example of the lock. The writing slope is believed to be circa 1810. Do you know of any decent books on the subject?
    Tania

  4. #4
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    The standard work is :

    Fire & Theif Proof depositories & Locks and Keys. Published in 1856.

    I had a look in my copy and there is a very brief passage :

    --------

    TOMPSONíS LOCK, Patent dated December 29th, 1808.

    Tompsonís was a flush bolt lock, with two tumblers; one was gated to work the bolt up, then the key met another talon and tumbler placed at right angles to the first, and shot the bolt. This lock in its day had a good sale. Tompson was the first to cast the projections in flush-bolt and other locks, to save the time and trouble occupied in fixing them in the manner previously adopted.

    --------

    Does'nt sound very complex though.

    Paul

  5. #5

    Default

    Dear Paul,

    Not surprisingly, Amazon does not have this book. I will try Foyles and Shipleys on Monday.

    It does not surprise me that it is not a complex lock, indeed you describe it as the patent does and as the lock appears to work. At the time it was apparently considered unusual as it was developed just after Bramah was developed but the Tompson lock added the horizontal element. The lock I saw is on a lady's writing slope and no doubt in Georgian days women were not considered to have any documents worth locking even more efficiently!

    My interest in locks of this period is due to my interest in writing slopes. When being shown a writing slope - such as the Regency slope I am currently purchasing - the seller will often offer the type of lock as 'proof' of the quality of the box. Higher quality workmanship would rarely use a poor quality lock and, conversely, shoddy workmanship would be unlikely to be paired with a better quality lock. As I knew nothing of the Tompson lock I had no idea of its quality. I was told that it was more complex than a Bramah in its day; a superior but shortlived locksmith business. Your 'brief passage' would appear to support this. However I would love to purchase the book to be able to look up any future locks I might come across. If you hear of a copy for sale please do let me know. Likewise, if you would like a copy of the patent let me know your address and I can send you a copy by snail mail!

    Any other information gratefully received!

    Tania

  6. #6
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    Default

    A good maker can be an indicator if the quality of a travelling desk (which is what the lock manufacturers called them) but for example you should be wary of locks marked ' bramah ' - unless they are very early there should also be an address - if there is no address then the lock is likely to be a copy - made after the original patent had expired.

    I have sent you a PM too.

    paul

  7. #7

    Default

    I have a list of the dates and marks on Bramah locks, although I would like a more detailed work. Luckily my locks are early so from memory of the article they fall under the 1784 to 1798 or 1798 to 1800 which are before the Picadilly address but include the word `patent` in the first case and the crown but no word patent in the second.

    PM dealt with. Will go tomorrow (Monday), inadvertently written upside down! Apologies, not meant to be funny, just distracted by two year old!!

    I will certainly track down the British Library for any future articles I can't find elsewhere as the cost is beyond my budget for a book on a topic which for me is of tangential interest to the main hobby.

    Any other suggestions for an authoritive book which isn;t prohibitively expensive would be appreciated.
    Tania

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default

    Tania, the best chance of locating books is on the web. Bookfinders.com and the like. It may take a little while but it is the most efficient way. You will also hopefully be given a number of options in price and quality to choose from.

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