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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Glasgow
    Posts
    13
    Country: UK

    Default Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.

    Hi, I am currently refurbishing two prison doors with working locks, (Charles smith and sons of Birmingham) there old but as to the age of the locks I can asume there poss victorian or 1940? hence posting here to seek some advice. I have made a video of the project Im doing in my spare time which may be of interest.

    vid
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HzZ...ature=youtu.be

    I have taken some pictures to help, I have also the keys of which are called "Servant Keys" one "Male" and one "Female" any info about these would be great.

    Thanks
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails jail photos refurb (1).jpg   jail photos refurb (2).jpg   jail photos refurb (3).jpg   jail photos refurb (4).jpg   jail photos refurb (5).jpg  


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    41
    Country: United States

    Default

    This is as detailed an article as you will ever find about Charles Smith & Sons: (article deleted due to complaint by copyright holder : Team Leader)


    This my less sophisticated (ie warded Charles Smith):

    DSC 0440 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.[/URL]
    http://s968.photobucket.com/user/gmanphotog/media/English%20Lock%20Collection/DSC_0423.jpg.html]DSC 0423 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.[/URL]
    http://s968.photobucket.com/user/gmanphotog/media/English%20Lock%20Collection/DSC_0409.jpg.html]DSC 0409 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.[/URL]
    http://s968.photobucket.com/user/gmanphotog/media/English%20Lock%20Collection/DSC_0407.jpg.html]DSC 0407 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.[/URL]
    http://s968.photobucket.com/user/gmanphotog/media/English%20Lock%20Collection/DSC_0391.jpg.html]DSC 0391 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.[/URL]
    http://s968.photobucket.com/user/gmanphotog/media/English%20Lock%20Collection/DSC_0394.jpg.html]DSC 0394 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.[/URL]
    http://s968.photobucket.com/user/gmanphotog/media/English%20Lock%20Collection/DSC_0396.jpg.html]DSC 0396 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.[/URL]
    http://s968.photobucket.com/user/gmanphotog/media/English%20Lock%20Collection/DSC_0397.jpg.html]DSC 0397 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.[/URL]
    http://s968.photobucket.com/user/gmanphotog/media/English%20Lock%20Collection/DSC_0399.jpg.html]DSC 0399 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.[/URL]
    http://s968.photobucket.com/user/gmanphotog/media/English%20Lock%20Collection/DSC_0401.jpg.html]DSC 0401 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.[/URL]
    http://s968.photobucket.com/user/gmanphotog/media/English%20Lock%20Collection/DSC_0402.jpg.html]DSC 0402 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.[/URL]
    http://s968.photobucket.com/user/gmanphotog/media/English%20Lock%20Collection/DSC_0403.jpg.html]DSC 0403 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.[/URL]
    http://s968.photobucket.com/user/gmanphotog/media/English%20Lock%20Collection/DSC_0390.jpg.html]DSC 0390 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.[/URL]
    http://s968.photobucket.com/user/gmanphotog/media/English%20Lock%20Collection/DSC_0418.jpg.html]DSC 0418 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.[/URL]
    Last edited by Brian Morland; 18-05-14 at 08:41 AM. Reason: Complaint from copyright holder

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Glasgow
    Posts
    13
    Country: UK

    Default

    Hi, Many thanks, this is great what a great post of information.
    Thanks
    Andy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    41
    Country: United States

    Default

    Just looked at the video. This is awesome! Yours is probably more similar to my Gibbons lock than my Charles Smith. My Gibbons has an automatic bolt throw, but not the indicator dial. Mine is from 1916, but it still has that roughhewn hand made quality. On the backs of these things they almost go out of there way to make it look rough cut.

    American Prison lock cases are almost always made of some sort of die cast metal and usually have a very finished look, even when handmade. Uk locks are handcut from sheet of steel. You can see that rough quality in the cladding of the doors and how it fits to the door. I really glad you showed how they are fitted.

    An American jailsmith would look at that lock and wonder where the other half of it is. American Locks are always fully enclosed. There is no consideration that door itself will protect the mechanism. American Locks are typically highly armored locks encased in several more layers of armor. It why the door weighs 300 pounds- a 7 pound lock has 30 pounds of armor. It a wonder they can make a hinge for it.

    Great video- looking forward to seeing more. Still sifting through em.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Glasgow
    Posts
    13
    Country: UK

    Default

    The doors and locks were from a UK Police station in "Douglas" near Lanark in Scotland,that had closed. It was by pure chance I seen the advert selling them and I went to see them, I decided to video it etc as I have an interest in locks and Prison doors, as well as Escapology.

    The info you posted is great as well as your pictures showing your lock, I will be also doing the same with the other lock when done with this one. One thing I have noticed is that the lock parts have each a small indentation in them like a metal puch mark. Il show this next in a video clip, looks like there possible id marks?

    All the best
    Andy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Edinburgh
    Posts
    200
    Country: UK

    Default

    Thomas invented the 'Pentonville' cell lock in 1842, as a cheap cell lock. It was widely used in provincial prisons, and in police stations. Smith was one large maker; they were also made by Gibbons. The OP's locks are a later development, adding levers and an indicator.

    Many local police stations were quite modest, often only a couple of cells, occupied mainly by drunks, poachers, and petty thieves. Cells and their doors were rarely subjected to violent or skilled attack, and prisoners had to be 'conveyed before a magistrate as soon as may be', which except on Saturday was usually the next day. Larger stations, and prisons, would be able to separate men and women prisoners. Not common in small English police stations though.

    The local history collection in the library might help date the building. Sometimes a retired local copper with an interest, or just a long memory, can be helpful on history.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Carlisle, England.
    Posts
    184
    Country: England

    Default Marley bros

    Quote Originally Posted by Shammon View Post
    Hi, I am currently refurbishing two prison doors with working locks, (Charles smith and sons of Birmingham) there old but as to the age of the locks I can asume there poss victorian or 1940? hence posting here to seek some advice. I have made a video of the project Im doing in my spare time which may be o

    Thanks
    Hi, I have recently cleaned and
    Polished a key that like yours says servant key male cells. I noticed the text on the key has been hand engraved. I have addead pics of a bunch of prison keys from various makers that strongly resembles yours. Some are Gibbons and some are masters without makers stamps. I normally only collect safe keys but after buying one which I thought was a safe key I have gained interest in prison keys. I find it very interesting to see what the locks they belong to look like and wish you luck in your worthwhile endeavors.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1425211671849.jpg   1425211776549.jpg   1425211816228.jpg   1425211850836.jpg  

  8. #8

    Default Cell door locks in Norwegian Cell Prisons in 1851 and the 1860's

    Hello!
    In the 1850's and 1860's there was a massive building of solitary Cell Prisons of different Sizes, all based on the Pentonville Model Prison. I send you some Pictures of the standardtype Cell Door Locks used in Norway in the 1850- and 1860-prisons in Norway. OurDepartement of Justice bought a large Quantity of these from Britain. The oldest have knob-handles, the newer t-shaped handles - but works the same way. Similar locks in each Prison, differing a bit between the Prisons. Seems there was different numbered types of locks/keys, see cell key in pictures 5.

    My Questions:


    • Is this the type of Lock Thomas invented for Pentonville in 1842?
    • Thomas - who was he? Is there som more information to find about him? What was his Role when building Pentonville?
    • Is it possible to say who made these Locks? I have been thinking James Gibbons & Sons in Wolverhampton (they have this lock as object number BIMW210 in Wolverhamptons Art Gallery's website). After reading in this Thread, however, I am now wondering if it can be Charles Smith of Birmingham. The Locks are simple, but the Quality impressive!


    I have written three books about some of the "1860-Prisons" in my Country. By doing so, i have wanted (if possible) to find out who made these locks. I would ble grateful if someone could help me here.

    Best Regards

    Knut Even Isaksen

    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Glasgow
    Posts
    13
    Country: UK

    Default

    Hi.

    I recon it looks more like a Gibbons, I have about 20 old Jail cell locks from a rare Charles Smith to several Gibbons. I also have 6 Chubb 4L Series custodial cell locks as well as an old original chubb cell lock.

    Im hosting an exhibition here in Scotland for the month of May where I will be showing a wide collection of my cell locks as I specialize in Jail Cell escapes, that's correct and not a typo, I'm one of only a few in the world who can actually escape from prisons and will be attempting to escape under test conditions in October this year from Peterhead Prison in Scotland.



    Ive renovated many old locks and found info under the years of paint, check the end bold bar its often stamped. I can ID who even made the old chubb locks as they had there if initials stamped on them. Tom Sadler and his brother made many of them. They are featured in my Exhibition along with one of his locks,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ef_sL9sMgBA

    I would like to know more about your books as very interested. If your over then try to see the exhibition. runs from 5th May to 28th May 2017 in Eastkilbride Arts Centre. Has a lot of Jail cell escape displays inc keys.

    20160130 1725201 zpsxzpdyjlr 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.[/URL]

    2RESTORED20SMITH2020SONS20LOCK202 zpsfeh 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.

    20140910 115426 zps2s7kiill 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    41
    Country: United States

    Default

    I rather disagree. Knuts lock looks more like a Charles Smith to me. It's a dead ringer for the lock I posted earlier in the thread. Moreover Knuts lock is a slam lock as is the one I posted.

    With mine the bolt makes contact with the door frame and retracts (or resets). The guard then lifts the handle and the bolt shoots through to the first position. By using the key the bolt can be extended two more positions.

    Secondly Knuts lock is warded, as mine is. Your Charles Smith is a lever lock, as are the Gibbons locks I've encountered. This lock is less sophisticated than your Charles Smith, but very similar to mine. I think if you removed the back plate cover, Knuts would find his to be quite similar.

    On my Charles Smith, the handle does not rotate as it does with the Gibbons I've encountered. Knut, does your handle lift up and allow the bolt to shoot through or does it rotate?



    Quote Originally Posted by Shammon View Post
    Hi.

    I recon it looks more like a Gibbons, I have about 20 old Jail cell locks from a rare Charles Smith to several Gibbons. I also have 6 Chubb 4L Series custodial cell locks as well as an old original chubb cell lock.

    Im hosting an exhibition here in Scotland for the month of May where I will be showing a wide collection of my cell locks as I specialize in Jail Cell escapes, that's correct and not a typo, I'm one of only a few in the world who can actually escape from prisons and will be attempting to escape under test conditions in October this year from Peterhead Prison in Scotland.



    Ive renovated many old locks and found info under the years of paint, check the end bold bar its often stamped. I can ID who even made the old chubb locks as they had there if initials stamped on them. Tom Sadler and his brother made many of them. They are featured in my Exhibition along with one of his locks,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ef_sL9sMgBA

    I would like to know more about your books as very interested. If your over then try to see the exhibition. runs from 5th May to 28th May 2017 in Eastkilbride Arts Centre. Has a lot of Jail cell escape displays inc keys.

    20160130 1725201 zpsxzpdyjlr 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.[/URL]

    2RESTORED20SMITH2020SONS20LOCK202 zpsfeh 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.

    20140910 115426 zps2s7kiill 1 - Wooden Prison Doors refurb, need some advice on the locks Ive found.

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