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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    31
    Country: Germany

    Default Charles Courtneys books, Volume I & II

    A question I long wanted to post.
    Does anyone else have the Courtney books, which you can read about in "Unlocking Adventure".
    I was able about 10 years ago to get the blue safe book from a book table at the Telford lock collectors meeting.
    I have never seen another one.
    It is one of the two books which had been printed for the MLA members in the beginning days.
    The safe book was recollected from the members due to its very sensitive content these days. It contains all the infos you need to open the safes of these days. Factory combinations, charts, etc.
    I read the "Unlocking Adventure" long before the blue book came to me. My yaws dropped when I saw the blue book on the table and realized what it was.
    Before that I thought part of the Unlocking Adventures stories are just fiction, but after my find I had another thinking about the book.
    I am looking for the Vol I which is supposed to be a red book.
    Does anyone have the book or a copy of it ?
    I am also very much interested in the manipulation device, which is shown on the cover of the "Unlocking Adventure".
    I hope that anyone of you guys knows something more.
    Oliver
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Courtney.JPG  

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    A question I long wanted to post.
    Does anyone else have the Courtney books, which you can read about in "Unlocking Adventure".
    I was able about 10 years ago to get the blue safe book from a book table at the Telford lock collectors meeting.
    I have never seen another one.
    It is one of the two books which had been printed for the MLA members in the beginning days.
    The safe book was recollected from the members due to its very sensitive content these days. It contains all the infos you need to open the safes of these days. Factory combinations, charts, etc.
    I read the "Unlocking Adventure" long before the blue book came to me. My yaws dropped when I saw the blue book on the table and realized what it was.
    Before that I thought part of the Unlocking Adventures stories are just fiction, but after my find I had another thinking about the book.
    I am looking for the Vol I which is supposed to be a red book.
    Does anyone have the book or a copy of it ?
    I am also very much interested in the manipulation device, which is shown on the cover of the "Unlocking Adventure".
    I hope that anyone of you guys knows something more.
    Oliver
    I have a copy of Volumes 1 ad 2 and both are blue. One of them is actually autographed by Mr. Courtney. The content of both books relates to general locksmith techniques and codes. Here in the US the third Volume is said by many to e legend. That's because the confiscation seems to have been complete.
    BBE.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BBE View Post
    I have a copy of Volumes 1 ad 2 and both are blue. One of them is actually autographed by Mr. Courtney. The content of both books relates to general locksmith techniques and codes. Here in the US the third Volume is said by many to e legend. That's because the confiscation seems to have been complete.
    BBE.
    BTW, the blue book in your picture is marked as Volume 2.
    BBE.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    31
    Country: Germany

    Default

    thank you for clearing up a little bit of my questions.
    Do you have a digital copy of VolI ?
    I am also wondering, as one of the books is supposed to be only car lock stuff.
    The other thing is that there are only two books mentioned one blue the other red and not a third one.
    Maybe the info is just incorrect in the "Unlocking Adventure"
    Oliver

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    25
    Country: UK

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    A question I long wanted to post.
    Does anyone else have the Courtney books, which you can read about in "Unlocking Adventure".
    I was able about 10 years ago to get the blue safe book from a book table at the Telford lock collectors meeting.
    I have never seen another one.
    It is one of the two books which had been printed for the MLA members in the beginning days.
    The safe book was recollected from the members due to its very sensitive content these days. It contains all the infos you need to open the safes of these days. Factory combinations, charts, etc.
    I read the "Unlocking Adventure" long before the blue book came to me. My yaws dropped when I saw the blue book on the table and realized what it was.
    Before that I thought part of the Unlocking Adventures stories are just fiction, but after my find I had another thinking about the book.
    I am looking for the Vol I which is supposed to be a red book.
    Does anyone have the book or a copy of it ?
    I am also very much interested in the manipulation device, which is shown on the cover of the "Unlocking Adventure".
    I hope that anyone of you guys knows something more.
    Oliver
    I have both vol 1 & 2. Both my volumes are blue. I am currently on the hunt for volume 3.
    It is quite bizarre that you bring this up now as I was only chatting about this with people at the MLA Telford Lock Expo.

    I have been researching what was likely in volume 3. I am positive that it was published and was subsequently removed from sale and all copies or pretty well all were destroyed. Probably by the FBI. Newspaper reports of the time indicated that this is the case. From what I can assertain it contained details on historical lock picking episodes going back 100 years. I don't believe the work was more than a rehash of notes by Hobbs, Linus Yale Junior, James Sargent and other less famous lock pickers of equal or greater skill. The volume will have shown the tools and explained the methods of their use. I have photos of some of the tools that would have been explored from periodicals of the day. It looks like the tools and notes which were used by Charles Courtney (not his but borrowed) were also subsequently removed from the collection where they had been collected together. We know this ,as they were documented before his attempted publication. With regard to the safe opening dialler. I believe that it allowed a rapid turning of safe combination without having to specifically count passes like 4L 3R 2L etc. as such sequence dialling could be done rapidly. With an escapement system this could have been automated with clockwork or small electric motor. A precursor to the ITL 2000 autodialler. I'd love to know where it is now. I believe that the photo on the cover of "Unlocking Adventure" was not allowed in the U.S. Or asked to be removed when it was published.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Posts
    1,289
    Country: United States

    Default

    It has been a long time since I read Unlocking Adventure, but I am pretty sure it did not have that cover. Then again that is not at all uncommon with a library book. I don't remember any big secrets exposed in that book but there were some good stories. If the FBI was involved in removing covers, that sounds more like something that would have happened in the 1950's. Wasn't the book written in the 30's? Also is it possible that is the infamous Jacob's Jiggler on that cover? Having never seen one, I sure don't know.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug MacQueen View Post
    It has been a long time since I read Unlocking Adventure, but I am pretty sure it did not have that cover. Then again that is not at all uncommon with a library book. I don't remember any big secrets exposed in that book but there were some good stories. If the FBI was involved in removing covers, that sounds more like something that would have happened in the 1950's. Wasn't the book written in the 30's? Also is it possible that is the infamous Jacob's Jiggler on that cover? Having never seen one, I sure don't know.
    The copyright on mine is 1931. Looking at my copy of Unlocking Adventure the copyright date is 1942, it did not have a jacket when I bought it.
    BBE.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    77
    Country: United States

    Default Unlocking Adventure

    I have been looking for the Master Locksmith Reference Guides for years. One came up on Ebay years ago but I didn't win the bid. Doug that is definitely not a Jacobs Jiggler. I will try to include a photo of mine. I have read the library book version and it didn't have that cover but the armed services edition does indeed show that cover on the front of the book, copyright 1942. If anyone has the books for sale or has digital copies they would like to share I would be very interested.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1640.jpg   IMG_1641.jpg   IMG_1642.JPG  

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Posts
    1,289
    Country: United States

    Default

    Thanks for that picture of the Jiggler. I was unaware it was patented so late. Regarding the removal of the book cover showing the other machine, if they were that paranoid, (during WWII they had good reason to be) I would guess it is locked up in the basement of some Fed building. It's a bit hard to believe it was just a random dial spinner. Having spent the better part of my life spinning dials, lucking out on a comb is very rare. Although Harry Miller is often credited with the manipulation method, the safe/locksmith community was very much a secretive group, and it would not surprise me at all if it predates Harry. That said, I am guessing the machine may have been a manipulation amplification device, for both sound and motion. But what the heck are the rollers at the top of the machine?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cyberspace
    Posts
    1,278
    Country: Australia

    Default

    Certainly does predate Harry Miller. You only have to look at the design of the S&G Automatic and Magnetic locks to see for sure that people have worked out how to manipulate combo locks long before Harry Miller.

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