Yale & Towne Manufacturing Co., Stamford, Connecticut - 3 movements, Type Triple L, v.1, v.2 and Gesswein Attachment
This is the earliest example of the Yale Triple L model known, case #184, movement #169, 211, 277. The E. Howard movement #169 is featured in American Genius, pg. 267. The first style, v.1, featured a full glass door. The Yale Triple L was the most popular time lock made by Yale and perhaps of any maker with sales eventually exceeding 16,000 units with L-movement numbers exceeding 41,000.
This example has the most pristine nickel plated case I have seen. It is rare to see the surface without any scratches or even a light haze of corrosion.
The next Triple L style, v.2, changed the door design to a half-glass in recognition of the possibility of breaking the glass from careless handling of the winding key. It was also a cost saving move to avoid drilling the glass.
This lock has what Yale called the "Bronze Wave" design that began to supplant the nickel plated design. The example above represents a transitional design of the Triple L. Notice the side extension to the snubber bar on the left used to dog the boltwork. While the case still retains the characteristic bottom bulge of the Triple L design, it is entirely decorative as there are no openings anywhere surrounding the bulge to engage an automatic bolt motor trip lever nor are there any attachment points available to the snubber bar. The Triple L (L5) was the same dimensions as this lock without the bulge and used a side pull to dog the boltwork (see example E below), although it is not a direct extension of the snubber bar. Notice how the winding eyelets hang awkwardly in the first and third photos. This lock was installed in a Manganese Steel Safe Co. safe, on a mounting plate that would rotate with the door when locked. In this type of installation, the time lock would be at a 90° angle whenever the door was open and was wound and maintained in this sideways position.
The lock illustrated above is another transitional design with the same characteristics as example D with a side pull to dog the boltwork but is not a direct extension of the snubber bar and is located on the right side of the case behind the flange. This is illustrated in the Yale catalog as a model (L5). c. 1915. Late in the model life, sometime after 1915. This style was made in limited numbers for use in Cannonball safes.
Lock F and G has has a more complex release bolt known as a Gesswein Attachment , or "G Attachment", a secondary lock that prevented the time lock from securing the door during business hours. To lock the safe the, the time lock would be wound and the plunger to the lower left of the bulge depressed. This freed the triple L's snubber bar to slide to the left, moving the bottom release to the right, and securing the door. The Gesswein Attachment-equipped Triple L's were most commonly used in Cannonball-style safes, and often in Manganese Steel Safe Co. safe, on a mounting plate that would rotate with the door when locked. In this type of installation, the time lock would be at an angle whenever the door was open and was wound and maintained in this sideways position. (1) S&G had used a a similar overriding mechanism in their Model 6.
Patent illustration pages for the Gesswein attachment.
This lock has an interesting case that has an integrally milled mounting flange surround for a custom installation. The case has no serial number.
A, B, C, D, E, F, G&H. Model Triple L . These locks used the medium sized Type L movement by Seth Thomas and were by far the most common sized of the coffin style movements used by Yale and this model had the largest production in the Yale line. The model L was used with automatic bolt motors so no bolt dog-work was in the case; only the release levers within the bottom bulge of the case to actuate the bolt motor. Lock A, with the eyelets though the glass was the first and rarest version. Then came C that had the them through the door. Lock D has the later "bronze wave" case design adopted around 1908 and is equipped with a side dogging device that protrudes from the left side of the case rather than from below as in most the other examples. This was an adaptation for use to engage the bolt work in a Mosler Cannonball Safe door. The snubber bar doubles as the bolt dog. Lock E is another lock with a side pull dog like in example D. Lock F and G has has a more complex release bolt known as a Gesswein Attachment, or "G Attachment", a secondary lock that prevented the time lock from securing the door during business hours. To lock the safe the, the time lock would be wound and the plunger to the lower left of the bulge depressed. This freed the triple L's snubber bar to slide to the left, moving the bottom release to the right, and securing the door. The Gesswein Attachment-equipped Triple L's were most commonly used in Cannonball-style safes, and often in Manganese Steel Safe Co. safe, on a mounting plate that would rotate with the door when locked. In this type of installation, the time lock would be at an angle whenever the door was open and was wound and maintained in this sideways position. Lock 'F' has later Swiss movements with optional magnifiers installed in an older pre 1908 case. These Swiss movements are also used in many later plastic-fronted locks that had the magnifiers built in to the front plastic piece. S&G's Model 6 time lock lock was equipped with a similar function.
Lock H is housed in a special case that has an integral flange which must have been necessary for a limited or custom installation, evidence for this is the lack of an identifying case number. The case is machined from one piece including the flange, and a conventional door is then added to the the front.
This was the most successful time lock design made by Yale in terms of production volume with over sixteen thousand made through the many versions of this lock between 1892 and 1920 making this the largest production run of any time lock of the era. (1) 5"w x 4 1/4"h x 2 3/4"d (without bulge on bottom).
The Triple K was introduced at the same time as the Triple L, using the same sized Yale Type L sized coffin shaped movements and were used in safes with manually operated bolt work. Compare the Triple L to its larger brother the Triple N.
The first document is a sales receipt from the Yale company dated November 24, 1894. Although it has an engraved illustration of a Yale Triple L, it is actually a generic receipt that could have been used for any Yale time lock product. The Triple L was introduced in 1892. Notice that by the time of this document about two years later, the case number was 708 with movement numbers 3667, 3668, 3669, so production was already quite prodigious. The L-movements were also used in a variety of other Yale time lock models by this time, so their numbers would have diverged very quickly from the case numbers.
The second document is a hold harmless agreement concerning the use of Yale's time locks for the same customer also dated November 24, 1894. What is interesting here is the logo at the top prominently displaying the cartel of Sargent & Greenleaf and Yale companies which began in 1877. This cartel effectively prevented most other companies from entering the time lock business. The Sherman Antitrust Act was passed in 1890, but apparently it was not applied to these companies at the time of this document.
The photos below show typical installations of a the model Triple L . First two show a Herring-Hall-Marvin safe from the early 1900's. This company was an amalgamation including the earlier company of Joseph Hall from the late 1880's. A medallion of Mr. Hall's profile can be seen here. Next in a Mosler cannonball type safe. Notice the beautiful floral acid-etched decoration surrounding the lock. Cannonball type safes were one of the most popular models made and many time lock companies made locks that could work in this type of safe such as Diebold, Banker's Dustproof, as well as Yale's Y-361 and LS31 . Next another type of Mosler safe. The last set shows a Davenport Safe & Lock Co. but the safe is made by Manganese Steel Safe Co. This installation is interesting in that if looks like the Yale time lock was put on in an ad hoc fashion. The time lock blocks service access panels to one if not both combination locks as well as one out of four of the round panels (whose function is unknown). One has to wonder just how the bolt dog is connected to the combination lock's bolt work since the area where this is located (the bubble below the lock) is directly blocked by the rear of the lower combination lock's cover!
Mosler safe. Victor Safe
Manganese Steel Safe Company, New York.
Cannonball safe with a Triple L like example E.
Cannonball safe with a triple L like example E.
(1)American Genius Nineteenth Century Bank Locks and Time Locks, David Erroll & John Erroll, pg 264