Chicago Time Lock Company, Chicago, Illinois, Marsh model 2, v.1

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This was the first version of the Marsh model 2. The secondary dials present on the first model were eliminated and the main dial, now marked through ninety-six hours, was repositioned at the top of the movement. The case edges became rounded.  This first version of the model 2 also introduced an optional mechanism to hold the wound time lock open during business hours, similar to the disabling latch on the Holms Electric, but controlled by a fourth arbor visible at the case bottom between the second and third movements snubber bar pins in the second version. The first version of the model 2 had a full glass door insert and was available in a satin bronze finish. Satin nickel and nickel plated versions may have been produced but none are known at this time. Three of this model are known. Production records for Chicago Time Lock are not known to survive. (1)

The patent referred to on the dials is the same as that illustrated for their Marsh model 1. That's interesting since there are many differences in the design of the time lock movements between the Marsh model 1 and this one. Even the snubber bar and movement levers are very different. Perhaps the patent designation was there to act as a protection against litigation, though by this time most of that activity had greatly diminished.


The first photo shows a Chicago movement next to a an identical movement with Diebold dial reflecting the buyout of the Chicago Time Lock firm by the Diebold company in 1908. The second photo shows the Chicago firm's two style of movements, the first from their Marsh model 1 product introduced in 1903. Shortly afterward that design was abandoned for their Marsh model 2 in the middle. The quality of the dial lettering sharply improved after Diebold  took over. For comparison, in the second photo, the last movement is a typical Diebold movement made at the time of the takeover of the Chicago Time lock Company in 1908. Note the similar way the plates are designed and in particular the way the movements are secured to the case using a three-point mount. Tolerances at this time were still too tight to allow for interchangeability between the lever and escape wheel. The top mounted platforms used by Hall were not interchangeable due to the added complication of their transverse mounting. By the time that company was reincorporated into the Consolidated company in 1880 these still were not interchangeable until about the late 1890's. Given the various design similarities one has to wonder if there was any cooperation between Chicago and Diebold before the take over. Or perhaps Chicago copied Diebold's designs a bit too closely and succumbed to the threat of litigation by the far larger and more powerful company with the alternative of a takeover. 


One of the interchangeable platform escapements assembled with a cleaned and disassembled platform ready for reassembly, left. The cleaned platform ready for installation.

These photos show the build up of the restored platform. Note the serial number 317 on the underside of the base. All parts within the platform are similarly numbered.

Marsh model 2, v.1, c.1903. Beginning after 1900, the Chicago Time Lock Co. debuted the first production time lock that offered a ninety-six hour power reserve. This was based on a design by Earnest Marsh for which he was awarded a patent. This model has an optional mechanism to hold the the time lock open during business hours similar to to the disabling latch in the Holms Electric, (winding square on lower plate between second and third snubber bar pins). The movements do not have a makers attribution, but are thought to have been made by the Hampden Watch Co. or perhaps its parent Deuber Watch Co., both of Canton, Ohio. The design of and engraving of the escapements is consistent of movements made by these companies at this time. This movement features a platform escapement that is fully interchangeable between movements. Parts within any platform, however, are not interchangeable between platforms. This is why all parts within the platforms are numbered. There are no identifying numbers for the rest of the movement containing the the drive train. Most other time lock makers used some form of platform escapement with the exception of Sargent & Greenleaf. This probably not a coincidence since other makers relied on outside movement makers such as Seth Thomas and before 1902, E. Howard who used platform escapements in their movements. Other exceptions to this are those makers that used 'off the shelf' pocket watch movements, the first examples are the Yale B through E series (Waltham), then later Consolidated (Elgin, South Bend), Banker's Dustproof (Illinois),  and Mosler (Illinois, Waltham, Recta), companies.

There was a Marsh model 2, version 2 having a half-metal door with eyelets for the winding arbors and was made for use in Cannonball safes. That and the version shown here were the last types made by the Chicago Time Lock, Co. before being taken over by the Diebold Safe and Lock Company, also located in Canton in 1908. Around this time Diebold begins to offer models that are identical to this with only the maker's attribution changed from Chicago Time Lock to Diebold on the enamel dials. Otherwise the movements are completely interchangeable. (1). 6 1/2" w x 4 1/2"h x 2 3/4"d. Case #M200, movements #316, #317 and #318. file 181

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(1) American Genius Nineteenth Century Bank Locks and Time Locks, David Erroll & John Erroll, pp 298-299. Marsh was awarded patent no. 769,556, September 6, 1904, E. A. Marsh, "Time Lock".