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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    57
    Country: Australia

    Default Miller (Champion) 6 Lever Pancake Padlock

    Pictured below is an example of what is commonly called a "pancake padlock". Whilst the lock case says Millers, close examination of the key will also show the brand name Champion - I believe they made these locks under several names/case patterns.

    Some pancake padlocks operate with a warded key, however this example uses levers as the name suggests, in this case six of them, and a push-key.

    Once the correct key is pushed all the way into the keyway, the shackle springs open.

    I am not certain, but I believe these were made over a considerable period of time. Would anybody be able to suggest an approximate age for this lock?

    ...mercurial
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Miller's 6 Lever 1.JPG   Miller's 6 Lever 2.JPG   Miller's 6 Lever 3.JPG   Miller's 6 Lever 4.JPG  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    57
    Country: Australia

    Default

    I am now confused as to whether Champion made "Miller's" and several other pancake locks, or if Miller's was the manufacturer. The key says both "Champion 6 Lever Pat 3.11-02" and "MILLER Lock Co. PHILA. U.S."

  3. #3

    Default

    You are correct, these locks were sold under many names and they were made by many different companies. There are different numbers of levers in some and a few even have a different shape. To my knowledge Miller never mixed the brands and consequently your key was originally supplied with a lock that bore the Champion name even though made by Miller.

    A lock similar to yours sold on Ebay in 1999 for $67.25US. The Miller Lock Co existed from 1870 to 1932 when it was purchased by Yale. Based upon the patent date you noted the lock must have been made in the 30 year span from 1902 to 1932.
    BBE.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    57
    Country: Australia

    Default

    In case it is not clear in the pictures, around the curve of the key's bow is the lettering "MILLER LOCK CO.PHILA.USA", below that, on the 'stem' is "Champion 6 LEVER PAT.3.11-02" and then underneath that, just to confuse matters, is a little Miller logo - the name Miller appearing on a Scroll. On the reverse of the key is stamped B 79.

    The lock only bears the name Miller's.

    As can be seen in the pictures, the lock is also stamped B79 - so it would appear the lock and key have been together since they were made, or at least for a long time, the stamping isn't new.

    I don't claim to know about the history of these locks, but given the above, would you still say the key I have did not originally belong to this lock?

    ...mercurial

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    57
    Country: Australia

    Default

    Here is detail of the key's bow :
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails key-detail.jpg  

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    57
    Country: Australia

    Default

    Here is a patent by Miller that shows the internals of this style of lock (US Patent number 143990) :

    http://www.google.com/patents?id=V2N...age&q=&f=false

    EDIT : This is NOT quite the same style of lock - this lock has two sets of levers, however the mechanism is still very similar. I've never seen an example of the lock described in the patent.
    Last edited by mercurial; 22-11-09 at 03:36 PM.

  7. #7

    Default

    I've never seen this marking before. Typically they will be marked with one or the other name. It is entirely possible that your lock was made at the beginning of the patent issue before they had the idea to cast the name Champion into the lock face.

    Because your hasn't been taken apart and the special markings on the key, I would guess they are a matched set and certainly worth more than the one sold in 1999.
    BBE.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    57
    Country: Australia

    Default

    BBE, thankyou very much for your informative input!

    I would never have known that the key's markings are unusual.

    Courtesy of BBE's website, there is a picture of the internals of a typical pancake lock below.





    ...mercurial

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Beausejour, MB, Canada
    Posts
    6
    Country: Canada

    Default Champion 6-Lever padlock

    I have had the Champion Padlock version of this pancake padlock for some 41 years already. I've had it x-rayed in hopes of being able to open it and as you can see by the picture, the lock is complete with the latches, but non the less, where to get a key ?
    Champion 6-Lever Brass Padlock.pdf

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Odell Ne
    Posts
    536
    Country: United States

    Default

    Most locksmiths can get the key blanks for that lock.However getting a locksmith to pick it open and impression a key and then cutting that impression on the blank will get pretty expensive. Most of us have done it numerous times for our own locks,but then we don't charge ourselves for our own labor. The Champion 6 lever lock is probably the most abundent thus the least valuable of the push key pancake locks out there, so unless it holds some sentimental value to you,I wouldn't think it would be worth the money spent. Now on the other hand if that lock was a IHC,IRS or any other of the rarer push key pancake locks,I wouldn't hesitate to advise you to have the job done. Mark
    Mark A. Billesbach

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