Consolidated Time Lock Co.,
Cincinnati, Ohio - 1 movement with hand engraved folk-art case, guilloche
This type of engraving was found sporadically on other
(also part of Hall's Safe & Lock Co.) cases from this period continuing
though about 1886. The theme to the engravings may be the Ohio River region
with subjects known to include sail boats, ducks, cranes, hunting dogs, boys
fishing, and a country gentleman with a fishing rod. One can easily imagine
that Mr. Hall was an avid outdoorsman and had his favorite activities
immortalized on a few of his special time lock cases. The work may have been
done by the same artist given the consistent appearance of the associated
floral vine engraving. Eight folk art engraved examples are known. Later
side panels were machine engraved in a circular guilloche pattern.
This lock is a fairly early in the production run under the Consolidated
name since the E. Howard name appears on the dial. Joseph Hall separated the
time lock business from his safe business by creating the Consolidated Time
Lock Company in January 1880. At this time the E. Howard name still appeared
on the dial. But because of the ever increasing litigious nature of the time
lock business and in particular a lawsuit brought by Yale against Holms
which also entangled E. Howard in 1882, the Howard name was removed at that
time from the dial and replaced with Gothic type-face embossing on the front
plate behind the dial to obscure it from view. One has to wonder just how
effective this would be in 'fooling' a potential adversarial lawyer.
This example had undergone a complete restoration and is in excellent
Single movement Consolidated time lock c. 1882. Case with hand
engraved folk art design of a dog within a star background on right side
panel. Left side panel, door and top of case decorated in floral pattern.
Case door #920, case back stamped #2874, movement #2874, 3 5/8" w x 3 1/8" h
x 2 5/8" d. file
Single movement Consolidated lock, c. 1886. This is
an example in very good condition and has an original rare etched door glass. The case nickel plating in
very good condition. Likewise the movement is nearly pristine. Consolidated
time lock cases were particularly prone to corrosion of the nickel plate and
the movement plates are rarely as shiny as this one. All of the blued steel
parts are intact with even color and no corrosion. Notice the circular
damascene design on the movement plate contrasting with that on the single
movement lock directly above it. Consolidated varied their damascene
designs on both the movement plates as well as their cases throughout production.
Case door #1436, case back stamped #4126 movement #4126, 3 5/8" w x 3 1/8" h x 2 5/8" d. file
These locks represent a variety of 'transitional'
time locks. Early locks that used both a time lock movement as well as an
integral combination lock that could be used to open the safe in case of a
timer failure. This is an important example of a transition period that the development of time locks took. At first
total control of the opening of the vault was not quite trusted to the time lock alone.
The following is quoted from The Lure of the Lock, The John M. Mossman
Collection, "This lock is of greatest possible interest as it contains a secret
combination which can be used in case of "lockout". (Failure of the time lock).
"This combination was held by the maker until an emergency arose when it would be
telegraphed to the bank." Of course what's to prevent someone from inside the
time lock company from performing an unauthorized entry? The answer is that
the regular combination had to be dialed in after the emergency combination.
So there would have to be collusion between the both parties. But this still
seems to negate the entire
purpose of the time lock in the first place. Soon, however, bankers realized the
reliability of these locks, particularly when two or more movements were used to add
Notice that these locks used only one movement.
The Hall / Consolidated company did this to create a less expensive product;
the time lock movement being the most expensive time lock component. A
single movement time lock is also very small giving it an advantage where
space on the safe door is at a premium.
To get around the advantage of redundancy that a
second movement provided and to prevent the possibility of a lockout due to
the time lock's failure, the firm used their Hall's Infallible Lockout
Protection™ system. This involved a second fence within the combination lock
that when a second "emergency combination" was dialed in and that second
fence was activated, it overrode the time lock. Then the owner had to dial
in the normal combination to open the safe door. This means that this type
of time lock could only be paired with one of Hall's combination locks
equipped with the infallible system incorporating the second fence and
Later the use of redundant movements obviated the need for all the complex and less reliable or
secure backup approaches. It should be noted that in the entire history of the use of
factory installed time locks with redundant movements, when the lock was properly used and
serviced, and in the absence of tampering or efforts at forced entry to the safe, there
has never been a total failure of a time lock resulting in the door being unable to be