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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    5
    Country: Ireland

    Default Old Door Lock..Anyone know anything about it ?

    Hi All,

    I was given this old lock from a friend of mine, I know very little about it, all I know is the key is quite unusual as it has a pin in the center, when the key is inserted into the lock it lifts one of the back springs & the barrel of the key lifts the other.

    I think it is dated 1813 as it has GR stamped on the tongue, I cannot make out the manufactures name.
    Just wondering if anyone has seen one before & knows anything about the lock. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Alan
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Posts
    1,228
    Country: United States

    Default

    I hate to sound like the typical idiot American (so many of us are) but what country is that flag? Obviously a 200 year old or there abouts lock. And worth a closer look. Can you post more pictures? Doug

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,325
    Country: United States

    Default

    If you click on the name of the poster and view the profile it will tell you. In this case it is Ireland.

    Yes more pictures would be great. Could you post one with the insides of the lock with the key turned in say two or three positions?
    Last edited by Dean Nickel; 22-10-11 at 12:48 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    5
    Country: Ireland

    Default

    Hi Guys,

    I will try and get the lock back and get some more pics for ye, the emblem is a crown with GR which is King George who reigned up to 1820, the 813 on the lock as far as I know is the production date and year, they used to write them the wrong way around, so 813 would mean 3 month 18 year, so it should be march 1818 ( I said 1813 in original post which is incorrect). I dont actually own the lock myself, but I was curious to see if anyone had seen one before, it came to my friends shop for repair, he sorted it out and fixed the fault ( broken shaft ).

    If he still has access to the lock I`ll get more pics.

    Thanks for looking
    Alan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devon UK
    Posts
    2,941
    Country: UK

    Default

    Can I see "union lock" on the bolt?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,325
    Country: United States

    Default

    That is what I read something Union Lock. If that is true what would the words before that be?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    5
    Country: Ireland

    Default

    Hi Guys,

    the lock was still available so I managed to get more pics of it for you all to look at,it does say something union lock on the tongue, there seems to be 3 makers names stamped on it also ..but it is too rusted to make them out.
    There is 2 shafts coming through the key hole, the key actually has an internal pin, which engages the center shaft, the back of the key then engages the outside shaft,these are spring loaded and allow the lock to close when they are correctly aligned. Hopefully the extra pics might tell the story a bit better than I can.Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	4938pencil - Old Door Lock..Anyone know anything about it ?
    Last edited by crafties; 25-10-11 at 07:40 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Posts
    1,228
    Country: United States

    Default

    Lever lock with a large back action spring? A pin in the key? "Union" on the bolt? I'd say you have a Robert Kemp "Union" lock and the dating is the right era. That is the union of the "Bramah slider and Barron lever". What a great find!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devon UK
    Posts
    2,941
    Country: UK

    Default

    May 27th No 4036. KEMP, Robert, junior. The object of this invention is an improvement in the manufacture of locks and keys. It "consists in applying to the interior part of the lock certain sliders or tumblers, in such manner that when the bolt of the lock is shut or locked, certain parts of the said sliders shall be in Contact with and intercept some projecting part of the bolt, and the said sliders being incapable of motion, except in a direction at right angles to the direction of the motion of the bolt, they will prevent the bolt being drawn back so as to unbolt the lock. The motions of the said sliders are all independent of each other, and the said notches in the projecting part of the bolt are made exactly of the size to correspond with the parts of the sliders which are to pass through them, therefore each one of the sliders must be moved precisely to its required position, and neither more nor less, or it will not correspond with the notch belonging to it, and cannot suffer the bolt to pass. The particular manner of communicating the requisite movement to the said sliders is by perforating the centre pin upon which the key turns round when it is inserted into the lock in order to lock or unlock the same, so that the said centre pin is a hollow tube; and I apply within the perforation or hollow of the tube pins which operate upon each one of the aforesaid sliders, so that by pushing back the said pins in the tube or hollow of the centre pin it will give motion to the sliders, and as two, three, or more independent sliders are used in the lock, as many different pins must be inserted in the hollow or centre pin of the lock to correspond with them." "The making of keys consists in applying within the pipe of the key (or that hollow tube which is to receive the centre pin of the lock when the key is introduced into the lock) a pin which shall enter into the hollow or tube of the centre pin, and press upon the ends of the pins which actuate the sliders that detain the bolt, and this pin within the pipe of the key being made of determinate length, will depress or push back the pins and sliders to the required positions."

    From Prices 1856:-


    KEMP’S LOCK, Patent dated May 27, 1816.


    The security of this lock “consisted in the adaptation of tumblers or sliders, operated upon by two, three, or more small concentric tubes, of different lengths, placed inside the barrel of the key. These tubes were made of such a length as to push back the pins or sliders that detain the bolt to the required positions, until each one corresponds with the notch that is cut in it for the projecting part of the bolt. Mr. Kemp calls his invention the union lock, from the circumstance that it unites the qualities of Barron’s and Bramah’s locks; and from the manner in which the combination is effected, it affords, according to the inventor, a greater degree of security than either of the former, or than both of them together, supposing a lock of each kind was placed on the same door; and that a dishonest servant, who does not possess any particular ingenuity, may be instructed by a locksmith how to take the requisite impressions of either Barron’s or Bramah’s keys, even if he could be intrusted with them only for a few minutes; but this cannot be done with the key of the union lock, as it would require the locksmith to examine it himself, and to make several tools to ascertain its different dimensions, which he could not without having it in his possession for some considerable time, with leisure to make repeated trials. In this remark of Mr. Kemp’s we entirely coincide; and it still applies to all locks hitherto made (1834), that the keys, when in the possession of a workman, may be copied; and, in many, without possession. Mr. Kemp’s invention may supply a partial remedy for this defect; but until a complete one is provided the art of lockmaking is imperfect, and no locks are inviolable.
    “Viewing the subject in this light, it affords the editor of this work (Hebert’s Encyclopaedia) much satisfaction to state that he has in his possession a lock, the key of which cannot be copied; a locksmith possessing no tools by which an exactly similar one can be made; and the machine by which the original one was made is so arranged as to be deprived of the power of producing another like it. The lock is very simple, very strong, and can be very cheaply made. The cost of a complete machine to make them would be about one hundred pounds; with that they might be manufactured at one-half the expense of any patent lock. The inventor is desirous to have the subject brought before the public under a patent, but want of time to devote himself to such an object at present obliges him to lay it aside.”* The machine here referred to has not to the present time (1856) been patented, and therefore nothing is known of its particular construction; but that such a machine is capable of being constructed to do all that has been stated we verily believe; and further, we believe that such a machine may even be made self-acting. If the attention of the Lancashire machinists were to be givenClick image for larger version. 

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    * Hebert’s Encyclopaedia.

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    Last edited by Tom Gordon; 26-10-11 at 01:03 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,325
    Country: United States

    Default

    Thank you Alan! Wonderful pictures! Thanks Doug and Tom for the info!

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