Hollar Time Lock Company

Back Up Next

                           Yale-Hollar 4mvt .jpg (455681 bytes) 

                           Yale-Hollar 4mvt 2.jpg (537501 bytes)

Model 2. Circa 1898. This small company used the earliest 'M' sized movements supplied by Seth Thomas about the time E. Howard exited the time lock business in 1896. This example also has a set of the very rare 96 hour version of the standard 72 hour design. It was thought that there were only three of these movements existing until this example with four was found.* This company's unique design incorporated an electrical device (located behind the top front  logo plate ) that could, in case of an emergency, allow the time locks to be rewound without having to open the  vault door. This could be useful in the case of a civil catastrophe such as riot or fire. Apparently this was not a feature that the market felt justified the extra cost. Less than 100 Hollar locks were made in two design formats of which only two of each format are known to survive. Given the many similarities in the case design and the fact that Hollar's movements were interchangeable with Yale's, and indeed the Model 1 was equipped with Yale insignia movements, there must have been some cooperation between these two firms. Just as Hollar designed, but did not fabricate safes and vaults, it appears that this too was the case with its time lock. Case #362, movements consecutively numbered M.H. 69, M.H. 70, M.H. 71, M.H. 72. The M.H. designation for the 'M' size and 'H' for Hollar. The serial numbers are the earliest known Seth Thomas made movements replacing Howard's for the Yale "coffin" style format. 9.5"w x 9"h x 4"d. file 11

An article from Scientific American from the time explained the value of Hollar's winding device: "Should conditions arise, however, which would, in the opinions of the proper custodians of the vault, justify them in keeping the vault locked for any additional number of hours, beyond the time for which it was originally set, this can be accomplished without opening the vault doors, and without anyone having to access the locks. The value of this feature may be illustrated when the contingency of fire or or riot is considered, for in either case it would be undesirable to permit the action of the time lock mechanism to make possible the unlocking of the vault. Under these conditions, all that would be necessary would be to simply close a switch, when the time lock movements would be electrically rewound, thereby preventing the opening of the doors until the expiration of the added number of hours."

Lastly are photos of three vault doors with a Yale Quad N using the Hollar Electric Winding Mechanism, (smaller case mounted above the Yale time lock). The first three photos show a  round door style that was built by the Hall Safe and Lock Company. The close up in the third photo shows the separate electric controller on top of the four movement Yale Quad N. This unit is what does the remote winding of that time lock. The second installation is another Hollar design built by L.H. Miller Safe and Iron Works. It appears to have a Yale Quad M style time lock that has been retrofitted with four much later Swiss movements and using the smaller size 'L' in place of the original, larger 'M' size movements. The third by the Detroit Safe Company uses Hollars first time lock design, the Model 1. All use a Yale automatic bolt motor. What's interesting about all of these examples is the fact that Hollar makes sure by prominent signage that they are the designers of each of these vaults. Hollar, unlike many other time lock makers was also involved in safe and vault design but did not actually fabricate them. Hall, Diebold and Mosler are other examples of time lock makers who were also not only designers but also builders of safe and vaults.

Hollar in vault door (1).jpg (27009 bytes)  Hollar in vault door.jpg (47487 bytes)

Hollar in vault door (2).jpg (46311 bytes)  Hollar in vault door (3).jpg (45967 bytes)

                         Hollar in vault door (4).jpg (55507 bytes)  Hollar in vault door (5).jpg (44298 bytes)

*American Genius, John & David Erroll, pp. 276.

Back Up Next