Consolidated Time Lock Co., Cincinnati, Ohio - 2 movements,
modular, first design
Consolidated time lock mounted to Hall's bolt motor. Next the door to the lock
open and the front plate of the bolt motor removed. Consolidated and Hall were
both owned by the same entity. Hall started out as a safe manufacturer founded
by Joseph Hall. Shortly after Hall decided to enter the time lock business he
started a separate corporate entity, Consolidated, in order to shield his safe
business from the litigious environment that surrounded the time lock business
at the time.
The prototype modular movements.
Consolidated's first modular movement style time lock, c. 1902. This is a rare example of an experimental
transitional time lock from the Consolidated company. Beginning in 1887 Yale
introduced the first production lock with the feature of interchangeable,
modular time locks. Yale used Waltham Watch Co., Waltham, MA, movements
beginning with their Type B
through E series of locks to do this. In 1888 Sargent &
Greenleaf introduced their concept of modular time lock design with the
introduction of individually removable time lock movements of their own
manufacture in their model Triple A. Although
these movements were not yet truly interchangeable, that would come by 1895. Up
to this time any time lock that had more than one movement had these
incorporated into one movement plate or were made as matched pairs requiring the
change out of both movements, or repair on the spot by an experienced
technician; a more expensive proposition. Modularity allowed a simple swap out
requiring far less training. The example shown, made around 1902 was Consolidated's first attempt at this problem.
The fact that E. Howard exited the time lock business in 1902 when they were
acquired by the Keystone Watch case Company may have also played a role in the
decision to explore a new design. Prior to this all of their twin movement time locks were combined as matched sets
and not interchangeable. To prove the point, both movement dials always had the
same serial number marked on both dials. One can see that they abandoned the
horizontally mounted platform escapement made by E. Howard for the more a
conventional configuration where they are positioned on the same plane as the
rest of the movement. However, the balance wheel and escapement cocks are
mounted directly to the top of the front plate and are not removable as a
modular platform unit.
The movements are not signed, Mr. John Erroll thinks
they were probably made by Seth Thomas. That company took over most of the
time lock movement business after the exit of Howard. One can see that
Consolidated still clung to the same dial and lever actuator design that
connected to the snubber bar. One has to wonder why Consolidated did not
simply take their existing single movement design and gang those together.
Perhaps Seth Thomas did not want to make the carriage clock type of
horizontally mounted platform escapements or the expediency of using an
existing pocket watch movement was the answer. This idea was later adopted
and after that company's acquisition by
Mosler, who used pocket
watch movements exclusively in all their models.
Time lock mounted to a contemporaneous Hall automatic bolt
motor with original winding lever. The serial number of 7557 on the dial is the
highest number encountered indicating that this was one of the last to be made
before consolidated shifted to the new dial and modular movements based on Elgin Nat'l Watch Co., Illinois pocket
watch movements. Case (time lock only), 3 1/2"h x 3 3/4"w x 2 3/8"d. Case #1117,
movements 7556, #7557. file 202
The two photos below show another example in the Harry C. Miller lock museum in
Nicholasville, KY. This as well as a three movement of the same type is to this
author's knowledge the only other examples of this style of time lock.