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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Country: United States

    Default Tolner Padlocks / Wm. Wilcox 1864

    I recently found, on google, a pdf copy the 1864 catalog - Bliven, Mead & Co Illustrated Price List of Hardware.
    It has a padlocks section which lists "Wm. Wilcox Wrought Iron Plate Padlocks". The picture above shows an unusual looking lock which doesn't match anything I've seen before. Both because of its unusual shape and also that the keys resemble the flat push keys used later in the 1871+ (Miller) pancake padlocks. The key also appears to be shown as being inserted on the left side of the lock in an upward direction?

    I know Wilcox made many styles of smoke house padlocks from as early as 1845, but I've not encountered one of this shape, nor with the pancake-style flat push key. One other curiosity is the description "Tolner Padlocks" which seems to suggest a style, but I find zero other hits for this on google except for in this catalog.

    Does anybody have thoughts to this mystery? Thanks!

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Country: United States

    Default Tollner padlocks

    I found some more information on the mystery "Tolner Padlock". It appears it has nothing to do with Wm. Wilcox, it must have just happened to appear directly above Wilcox's section of the catalog, leading to my confusion.

    The lock is sometimes referred to as a "Vulcan Padlock" or Acorn Padlock, due to some of them being marked with "Vulcan Hardware Co" and "Patent Acorn". There are others marked "Meyer & Eiffler", "A. Hammacher", and "Tollner & Hammacher" (certainly the reason for the typo'd listing as a Tolner (one 'L') Padlock . Looks like these companies were predecessors to Hammacher & Schlemmer who were initially hardware dealers in NYC. They are in fact a push-key padlock model which predates the 1870+ "pancake" models based on Miller's design

    I've come across several patents for similar locks, but they all come after the publication of this catalog (1864).

    Patents: 72378 (1867), 102810 (1870), and I suspect others probably earlier.

    I'm still researching all of this, but wanted to post an update.

    Click image for larger version. 

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