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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    3
    Country: China

    Default Help Identifying Linus Yale Safe Crescent Key (1854)

    Hi All! I'm excited to be a part of this forum and want to start out asking for help identifying this safe key. The safe itself has no markings except for the bolt, which reads "Linus Yale Patent 1854". I found the original patent document, but am unable to find any additional pictures or information at all. What is this type of key called? What was the original use for this safe? Any help would be great!
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,454
    Country: Wales

    Default

    Welcome Larry, what an amazing key and safe! Sorry to say I'm no help whatsoever with an ID or info for you, haven't seen anything even remotely like that over here.
    Can't help thinking it's something pretty rare and special which I'm sure given time will spark some interesting discussion.
    Huw

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Tonawanda, NY, USA
    Posts
    779
    Country: United States

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lockboxlarry View Post
    Hi All! I'm excited to be a part of this forum and want to start out asking for help identifying this safe key. The safe itself has no markings except for the bolt, which reads "Linus Yale Patent 1854". I found the original patent document, but am unable to find any additional pictures or information at all. What is this type of key called? What was the original use for this safe? Any help would be great!
    I can say with relative certainty that Linus Yale, Jr. only manufactured the lock and that the safe itself was likely made by "others". I have no information about the key but there is much information on Linus Yale, Jr., his early patents and successor companies in Locks and Lockmakers of America, revised third edition by the late Thomas F. Hennessy, pgs. 67-72. I believe this book is still sold by The Lock Museum of America of which Mr. Hennessy was a founder and curator: http://www.lockmuseumofamerica.org/home.aspx

    Pete Schifferli

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    3
    Country: China

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Huw Eastwood View Post
    Welcome Larry, what an amazing key and safe! Sorry to say I'm no help whatsoever with an ID or info for you, haven't seen anything even remotely like that over here.
    Can't help thinking it's something pretty rare and special which I'm sure given time will spark some interesting discussion.
    Thanks so much Huw, I'm excited to see what comes up!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    3
    Country: China

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pschiffe View Post
    I can say with relative certainty that Linus Yale, Jr. only manufactured the lock and that the safe itself was likely made by "others". I have no information about the key but there is much information on Linus Yale, Jr., his early patents and successor companies in Locks and Lockmakers of America, revised third edition by the late Thomas F. Hennessy, pgs. 67-72. I believe this book is still sold by The Lock Museum of America of which Mr. Hennessy was a founder and curator: http://www.lockmuseumofamerica.org/home.aspx

    Pete Schifferli

    This is wonderful Pete, thank you! I will certainly find that book. Can one make any guesses as to the designed purpose of the box based on its shape? Was it designed for use in a bank, wagon or train for example?

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lockboxlarry View Post
    Hi All! I'm excited to be a part of this forum and want to start out asking for help identifying this safe key. The safe itself has no markings except for the bolt, which reads "Linus Yale Patent 1854". I found the original patent document, but am unable to find any additional pictures or information at all. What is this type of key called? What was the original use for this safe? Any help would be great!
    Typically called a 'grashopper' because of the way the key hops out of the lock after operation. While not ubiquitious, they are fairly common in the US.
    BBE.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Posts
    1,291
    Country: United States

    Default

    Easily confused with William Hall's "Grasshopper" lock, it is a Linus Yale Sr. lock known as the "Peanut" lock, in reference to the key itself. Quite rare but I am not the one to put a value on it. I agree the safe was not made by Yale Sr. and was likely a New York maker like Herring. However, contrary to the commonly held opinion in the trade of Yale not making safes, there is good evidence Linus Jr. was making money chests during the same time period the keylock was made.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug MacQueen View Post
    Easily confused with William Hall's "Grasshopper" lock, it is a Linus Yale Sr. lock known as the "Peanut" lock, in reference to the key itself. Quite rare but I am not the one to put a value on it. I agree the safe was not made by Yale Sr. and was likely a New York maker like Herring. However, contrary to the commonly held opinion in the trade of Yale not making safes, there is good evidence Linus Jr. was making money chests during the same time period the keylock was made.
    Thanks Doug, looks like I did have it confused.
    BBE

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