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  1. #1
    Jack Kuchera Guest

    Default Bell Ringing Antique Lock

    I have this lock that I will call an Antique Bell Ringing Box Lock. It appears to be used on some type of large antique box. The purpose of the lock is to alert someone that the box was being unlocked by sounding a bell as the key is turned.
    As the key is turned, the housing that the key fits into, turns with the key and rotates a five star assembly attached to the end of the housing. This in turn lifts an arm that then falls on the bell and rings it.
    It appears that the star should lift and then drop something that then allows the clapper arm to drop and ping the bell. The bell will ping 5 times with one complete rotation of the key. Some sort of spring assembly (either flat or coil ) pulls or pushes the clapper arm down to ping the bell. Whatever it is would have to fit under the inside cover plate. That piece would also hold the housing in place when the key is removed, ready for the next time the box would be opened or shut and locked.
    I am wondering if anyone has worked on one of these and might have an exploded view of this lock and know what I need to make this bell ring.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bell Lock 005.jpg   Bell Lock 004.jpg   Bell Lock 003.jpg   Bell Lock 002.jpg   Bell Lock 001.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    West Midlands, UK


    What a curious design. Clearly the forerunner of the microswitched design!

    It looks like there was a part that goes between the "star" and the striker, perhaps on a pivot.

    Let us know how you get on.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Devon England
    Country: Great Britain


    Super lock, worth while getting that working again.

    I have just quickly made a couple of parts to show how you could drive the bell mechanism.
    top] is a back end of a lever from a mortice lock with it's spring shaped.
    lower] is a triangle sitting over what should be a pin.

    I have no prior knowledge of this lock so this is pure deduction. :wink:

    best of luck

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails box lock & bell.jpg  

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Melbourne Australia

    Default Bell Ringing Lock

    Hi Jack,
    Your post was very interesting as I have just purchased an antique chest that has a lock the same as yours. I have had it apart and made a key and the bell now rings. I cannot help with your query as I did not remove the plate retaining the star wheel. The rivet holding the plate looks a bit fragile.
    Do you have a makers name or country of origin for the lock, the best I can make out is RUBENS and other letters which are very faint. There is also what looks like YANKEE on the top of the brass body.
    It was great to see your photos and sorry I can't help.

    Graeme Fowles.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Country: Canada

    Default cash box lock..patent 1838

    Hi There:

    This looks like a lock designed by a woman in England in circa 17th century.

    The one I have rings quite loudly.
    Because the lockcase has the metal tags hammered down,
    it is therefore sealed to inspection.

    I will have to look it up in my files to provide more information.

    It was acquired from a basement collection owned by a elderly collector.

    ...............OK OK I got up and found the information now.....................

    It was Sally Thompson who held the Patent for an "alarum bell lock for
    a cash till"
    Both your model and mine are later editions of this product.

    Brian .................................................. ............................

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Country: UK

    Default Cash Box Lock-Patent 1838

    Brian Denyer

    Hello, I have just, belatedly come across this thread. Sally Thompson sounds quite a woman, so I searched through all British patents from the beginning (1617), and unfortunately failed to locate the patent. Have you possibly misspelled her name? I did check for Thomson from 1617 to 1850, but still nothing. Did you find the reference from another publication?

    I have a suspicion that such indicating locks were known before patents were even originated, as I vaguely remember seeing a very old lock somewhere, a long time ago!
    Martin Cummins.

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