Hall's Safe & Lock Co, Cincinnati, Ohio - 1
mvt. w/ Chronometric Time Attachment
This example has an engraved geometric-patterned front movement plate that
may be unique to this lock. The interior of the door is also engraved.
The dial bezel also is embellished with a wave-pattern engraving; something
not seen in other locks from this company with the exception of one other
lock that that was used as a exhibition piece by the Hall company.
(1) This lock, however shows ample
signs of wear from use within a working safe door. Hall's serial numbering
for their single movements began with 2001, making this an early example. It
is almost certain that Hall did not make all of their early serial numbered
single movements in this style since only three are currently known. Most of
the others would have been in their conventional carriage clock style of
escapement. It is likely that Hall used this movement design in their
first limited run of less than 75 movements before reverting to their
familiar carriage clock escapement design.
The first photo shows a better view of the front plate engraving. Next the
engraving on the door interior.
The spring barrel wheel also has a decorated pattern on its rim. The
decoration is probably unique to this lock since it would not otherwise be
able to be seen in the company's other locks. It is the same pattern seen on
most of the Hall and Consolidated lock aperture window frames. The example
shown is not from this lock but
another single movement Hall lock. All of
the other locks made by this company used a platform escapement mounted on
top and between the movement plates just below the aperture window to allow
the user to verify the movement was running.
Here is a close up view through the unique cut-away dial. The balance wheel
can be easily seen through the front opening. One can also see the balance
wheel rate adjustment pointer in the upper left hand corner. The aperture
window in this lock case has a different engraved pattern than seen in most
other locks. This aperture window cannot be used to verify the movement's
running is is probably there because the prototype movement was mounted into
a regular single movement case.
The Chronometric Time Attachment
These as well as the following photos show the action of the "Chronometric
Time Attachment". The language actually is nonsensical, but sounds
important. What I believe it refers to is a mechanism that allows to lock to
be opened in case of failure of the movement. This is important since there
is only one movement in the time lock. The first photo shows the area where
a locking pawl is located within the wheel train, it is currently in the
disengaged position. Next a close up through a 30x glass showing the pawl
engaged into the teeth of the fourth wheel in the movement train.
The first photo shows the locking pawl described above just under the second
wheel in the movement train. It is attached to a lever, (3)
that is positioned approximately 900
to it and is pivoted where they join together. The next photo shows
where a large pivoted lever, (1) contacts the lever
attached to the pawl, (3). Part (2), is
what connects to the combination lock's fence. When the lock goes on guard
this part raises the fence and disables the combination lock preventing
anyone from dialing in the combination until the time lock goes off guard.
In the case of the time lock failing, the bolt work can be manipulated to
pull the fence holder (2) slightly downward, not enough to
allow the fence to engage the tumblers, but enough to rotate clockwise the
large lever (1), to which it is connected, about 300.
When the bolt work is released a bias spring rotates the lever (1)
back to its original position. The repeated action causes lever
(1) to rotate back and forth; pushing the lever (3)
to the right, a bias spring brings it back to the left causing the pawl to
advance the fourth wheel in the train and over time the main wheel to slowly
rotate counterclockwise to the point where it would count down to zero. The
lock would then go off guard, allowing the fence holder (2)
to lower the fence toward the tumblers, enabling the safe to be opened.
However, if someone were to try to use too much force on the bolt work, or
attempt to manipulate the rocking too fast, say in the case of a robber
trying to open the safe in the middle of the night, the large lever will
turn further than 300 and lock onto the pawl lever as shown. This
permanently locks the pawl against the teeth of the fourth wheel. This would
permanently disable the lock preventing further tampering. I'm not sure how
wise this feature is given that once locked, it appears to be impossible to
release from the outside. There may have been some other unknown auxiliary
mechanism to do this, but I do not know of any.
The advertising sheet shows a single movement time lock in the
larger case format
and must have either been a very early concept model or prototype. It has
the rectangular window aperture on the top of the case which was replaced by
the round port hole windows within the first year of production, in late
1876. It also appears to have a bolt dog arrangement rather than the drop
down attachment to the combination lock's gate. There is no opening in the
case bottom for this attachment. The interesting thing about this
advertisement is its use of the term "Chronometric Time Movement and
Attachments". Similar to that on the dial of this example having
"Chronometric Time Attachment". Within the body of the ad is described an
apparatus within the lock that will allow the owner to bypass the movement
if it fails. Which may be what the company is referring to as the
chronometric attachment, but this is only conjecture at this point. I have
not seen the term used on the dial of any other Hall or Consolidated time
lock nor have I seen the bypass feature.
This time lock as received was not functional.
Click here, to see some of
the repairs that were needed to make the time lock work again after 140
1877. Single movement by this company that was the predecessor of the Consolidated
Time Lock Company. This was very early in the production run since
Hall numbered his single movement time locks beginning with 2001. Time locks made under the Hall name are rare as this company was
only in business a few years before being merged into the Consolidated Time Lock Co. in
January of 1880 to insulate his successful safe and lock business from his risky and
untested time lock business.(2) This movement
configuration, that is without a platform escapement mounted on the top of
the movement, is the only one of three currently known, see below. Hall and later
Consolidated used E. Howard for their movements, but this appears to be from
a different source. Case #94.
Movement #2057, 3 5/8" w x 3 1/8" h x 2 5/8" d. file
The lock pictured below is from the John M. Collection located at the
General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen in New York City. The movement is
numbered 2026 and is mounted in what is clearly a presentation piece. It is
interesting that a trip lever is located where one would expect below the
case, but it appears that there is also a rectangular feature on the right
side of the case. This is the end of a bolt. Notice the similarity of this
feature and location to the advertising sheet illustrated above which also
shows a rectangular bolt in this position. The lower decorative cover of
this lock is removed and the bolt is clearly visible in the photograph on
page 175 in the book Lure of the Lock. To the
best of this author's knowledge no other Hall lock other than this example
had this bolt work feature. The illustration did not have the bottom release
as this would not be needed with a bolt dogging device. It is possible that
the lever on the bottom is there to demonstrate the lock.
(1 and 2) American Genius Nineteenth
Century Bank Locks and Time Locks, David Erroll & John Erroll, pg
190-191 and 168