Consolidated Time Lock Co., Cincinnati, Ohio - 2 movements, modular, first design

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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 by Banker's Dustproof 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.


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(1). American Genius - Nineteenth Century Bank Locks and Time Locks, John and David Erroll, pg. 314