Bankers Dustproof Time Lock Co., Cincinnati, Ohio, 3 movements
With the time lock representing a major wholesale expense for any safe maker, many sought to have a time lock subsidiary, either by developing their own or by purchasing a going concern. By 1906 Victor Safe & Lock was offering its own time locks through its subsidiary, Bankers Dustproof, and would continue until 1916. Some circumstantial evidence suggests that Bankers Dustproof was the result of Victor Safe & Lock's purchase of Consolidated Time Lock Lock. Consolidated stopped production in 1906 and Bankers Dustproof began production that same year; further, Bankers Dustproof movement designs are almost exactly the same as those of later Consolidated modular movements, the only major difference being fixed or turning dial, either way the winding arbor needed only be wound just under one revolution to power the movement for seventy two hours. But this is speculative as there is not documentation to support this.(1) A note about the serial numbering on these locks. Rarely were the numbers actually consecutive since the movements were sourced from an outside watch company that also used these same movements in their pocket watch production. Unlike the movements made especially for the time lock industry by E. Howard and later Seth Thomas and those produced in-house by S&G, these were produced in the tens to hundreds of thousands. If the numbers were within a thousand they were most likely all original to the lock. The Remington, below is an exception.
A. Circa 1906. Banker's Dustproof began in 1906 as a subsidiary of Victor Safe and Lock Company, maker of the "Cannonball" model of safe; one of the most popular safes made and was a late entry into the time lock business. The clean lines in the manner of the emerging popular deco style of the day is reflected in the design. Around 1902 with the sale of E. Howard & Co. to the Keystone Watch Case Company, E. Howard exited the time lock business. Therefore, unlike most time lock companies that used either E. Howard or Seth Thomas movements, this company used 18-size Model #4 pocket watch movements supplied by the Illinois Watch Company. The movements had a separate crystal covering the watch movements much like on a conventional pocket watch providing exceptional protection from contamination compared to other time lock movements. Mosler Safe Co. was another company that used movements supplied by Illinois Watch Company. This was probably not coincidental since Banker's disappeared as a brand in 1915 and Mosler appeared in 1916 based on designs very similar to that of Bankers. This example contains an automatic bolt motor wound separately by the winding square below the first time lock to the left. Bankers was a short-lived company that never achieved a significant production. This example with the glass aperture was their earliest version. The door has "Patent Pending" indicating that this was made very early in the production run. See patent drawings below. About eight of these are known to have survived. 5.75"w x 5.25" h x 2.75"d. Case #418, movements #2052426, 2052981, 2622898. file 126
The watch movement to the right is from a Banker's
B. Circa 1909. Same as above but with solid door. The solid door design was introduced shortly after introduction and is a bit more common. About ten of these are known to have survived. Case #1493, movement #2710350, 2710793, 2275050. The large run up of the serial numbers between these two examples cannot be taken as a measure of production. Most likely these were incorporated within the numbering system of the general production run at the Illinois Watch Watch Company, one of the country's largest watch makers at the time.. file 112
C. Circa 1909. This example was designed to work in vault doors that had manually operated bolt works, so it incorporated a conventional bolt-dog configuration as evidenced by the bolt hole on the side. Most of the company's production run was concentrated on safes with automatic bolt motors, see examples above, making this version quite rare. About ten such examples are known. 6 1/4w x 4 3/8"h x 2 3/4"d. Case #1679, movements #2144883, 2477696, 2634141. file 139
D. Circa 1906. Identical model to that depicted in 'C', except with a spotted, gold finish. The damascene spotting was only on the door with the sides of the case in a plain finish. This color was far less common than the silver design and was probably produced for use in a Remington and Sherman Co. vault door as this was their distinctive design. Case #3082, movements #1974296, #1974297, #1974300. The serial numbers are virtually consecutive making this one of the few Banker's time locks with this feature. Most likely this was a specification asked for by Remington as they were a premium maker. Its curious that these movements have earlier serial numbers compared to others, but the case is of a later number than any other. So does one use the case number or the movement numbers as a guide? It could be that there was a different numbering system for this style of case. Its unlikely that someone had three consecutively numbered movements to drop into a later case. file 165
Patent drawings from #939,384 November 9, 1909 by Edgar Morton Benham. The patent was filed in 1907 but languished in red tape for over two years, possibly because it was openly admitted that it was a patent for the same outcome from "a less number of parts and simplified arrangement." If Victor really bought out the Consolidated company which had so many important patents of its own, one has to wonder why Bankers Dustproof would sink two years effort into securing such a dubious one. (1)
Last photos below show a Banker's Dustproof time lock in a beautifully restored Victor safe, the time lock parent company. 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 , as well as Diebold, Yale's LS31, Y-361 and Triple L .
(1) American Genius Nineteenth Century Bank Locks and Time Locks, David Erroll & John Erroll, pp 314