Sargent & Greenleaf, Rochester, New York - 3 movements, Model Triple B, v.1, v.2, v.3

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The triple B series was produced from 1888 through 1922. The triple B introduced the redesigned low profile cello bolt dog. There were basically three versions of this model. The first two versions had the snubber bar above the movement dials. Version one had separately welded on attachments to move the snubber bar via the pin attached to each dial, example A. The second version had a single piece snubber bar construction as seen in example B. In both versions the dial pins that engaged the snubber bar were located inside the dial rim on one of the spokes. These were moved to within the enamel dial ring in third version and all subsequent runs of this size of movement (L-movement) making these dials very rare. There were other subtle changes in the design of the components to make them less prone to breakage in the event of explosion. Around 1895 the third version appeared with the snubber bar below the dials as seen in examples C and D.



A. Model Triple B, version 1, (later no. 6305), 1889. This lock has all the earliest features of the original Triple A version. The tolerance between the snubber bar and the dials were very small, making the lock more susceptible to dynamite, since an explosion could unseat the movements, which could in turn throw off the snubber bar and release the bolt.(1) The snubber bar assembly has separate welded extensions for the pin engagement on each dial. The pivot point connecting the pivot bar to the horizontal drop bolt dog, photo three, has the clevis made in the traditional way with the pivot bar sandwiched between each pivot piece. Later the pivot bar would attach directly to the horizontal drop bolt dog front avoiding a possible failure due to the clevis splitting apart. See photo three example B. This is the same lock as featured in John and David Erroll's book, American Genius, page 252-253. 7 5/8"w x 5 5/8"h x 2 7/8" d. Case and bolt #38, consecutively numbered "L"-sized movements, #256, #257, #258 making this the earliest Triple B known. file 217




B. Model Triple B, version 2, (later no. 6305). c. 1893. Note contrasting colors of the movements, case and the various components. I believe this was done purposely for aesthetic value. Normally a satin silver case would be fitted with silver movements. If one looks at the inside of the door as well as the case mount platform to the left side of the case supporting the snubber bar pivot, there is evidence of the original case jewelling. The satin case did not become standard until the 1920's. So this was a special order retro-fit, where S&G refinished the case exterior. The snubber bar decoration is the most extensive this author has seen and this may have been retrofitted as a company display or  possibly to fit into an updated style safe that had the satin finished bolt work popular in the 1920's. While the design used modular time movements as with the early Triple A, the movements were not yet interchangeable, and each had it's specified location. One can see scratch marks made by the installer on each movement I, II, III indicating their order. The case and movement numbers indicate this was early in the production run of this model. 7 5/8"w x 5 5/8"h x 2 7/8" d. Case and bolt #84, consecutively numbered "L"-sized movements, #663, #664, #665. file 32

S&G 3mvt-sillver-old brass case.jpg (776812 bytes)  SG_3mvt-sillver-old_brass_case2.jpg (960596 bytes)

SG_3mvt-sillver-old_brass_case3.jpg.JPG (1006619 bytes) C

C. Model Triple B, version 3. Pre- satin bronze case with rarer 'crystalline' damascene surface rather than the more common spotted pattern. The scalloped glass opening was a short-lived design. Version 3 had the snubber bars moved from the top as in Version one and two to below the dials. An additional slider was added to support the snubber bar on the right hand side near where it joins the pivot bar giving added strength to this piece. Again to prevent that bar from being thrown off in the event of explosion thus releasing the the drop bolt. By this time the movements all became truly interchangeable where they were not in the first two versions. Note the surfaces of the snubber bar and drop bolt have plain surfaces indicating a date sometime after 1910. Later fitted movements of silver color rather than brass that would have been the original matching color. Note the style of the enamel dials; they have less common extended 120 hour duration with the company name and Rochester, NY. By this time 72 hour durations were standard and by the late 1920's most of their models were available in the optional 96 and 120 hour durations. The customer paid dearly for the privilege. I have an original price list from April 22, 1929 (how ironic, only six months before the onset of the Great Depression, bringing time lock sales to a complete halt, see the S&G introduction page for the price list). The triple B with standard 72 hour duration was $311.10, with 96 hour duration $355.54 and with 120 hour duration $477.77. So the extended 120 hour duration option cost the consumer an additional 53.6% over the standard 72 hour duration! Also take a look at the prices, it almost seems like the company liked funny numbers. See below for a photo of a similar lock installed on a York Safe door. Case bolt #B-787, movements 1-1548, 1-1535, 1-1545 (much later serial numbers). file 106


D. Model Triple B, version 3, c. 1920. Both locks on this page (B and D) are the same model with 72 hour dials and share the same type case. A model could be produced for a very long time as these two locks illustrate. This locks' components are all from the same period. Version 3 has the snubber bar below the dials as opposed to versions 1 and 2 where the bar is above the dials. Also by this time the time movement's positions were interchangeable where they were not in versions 1 and 2. Has 72 hour dials with Sargent & Greenleaf, Inc. Case and bolt # B-2033, 'L' sized movements #13935, #9110, #14545. file 94

Look through other S&G locks in this collection and you will generally see less variance in the colors of the lever components vs. movements vs. case. Examples of older cases with later components click here and here.

Sargent and Greenleaf model Triple B installed on a York Safe door.

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 (1) American Genius Nineteenth Century Bank Locks and Time Locks, David Erroll & John Erroll, pg. 252