Sargent & Greenleaf, Rochester, New York - 2 movements, Variant Model #2, Model 2A

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This photo shows a custom installation bearing all the hallmarks of a factory fabrication where normally the round rollerbolt would have been located. The conventional drop bolt attached to the movement pushes the pin on the lower cantilever to the left. The end of the lever that exits the bottom of the case has a hole for attachment to the fence restraint. The notch in the drop lever has no function in this application; it is too high up to catch the cantilever pin. Unlike in a rollerbolt installation where the pin of the roller bolt is held by the notch while the lock is on guard, blocking the bolt work.


A close examination of the case side shows an almost perfect fill in patch where the rectangular opening would have been for the rollerbolt. The second photo shows this same view from the inside. It is interesting to note that the spotted jewelling found on all of the other sides of the case is modified on this side to a speckled field. In fact this type of case finish not found on any other S&G product that this author has seen. These observations leads to some assumptions about the manufacture of the early S&G cases. This particular lock was custom made from the factory for this application. Proof of this is the fact that the case number of of 525 is very near the movement number of 530. The case was in inventory and already jeweled with the spotted design on all sides. S&G took this special order and filled the rollerbolt opening. But apparently it was not convenient to recreate the spotted jewelling on the side that the modification was made and S&G went for this unique speckled finish. The case then went in for the gold plating.


The custom snubber bar is removed in the first photo. One can see the decorative back plate in the unaltered from that which would have been used with the standard rollerbolt design.

Model 2[4], 1876. A custom order from S&G converting this lock from operating on the bolt work through a sliding bolt through the case to an external connection below. One could also see how this may look like it would be applied to an automatic bolt motor, but these were not in common usage until nearly a decade after this example was made. 6.5"h x 7.75"h x 2.75"d. Case #525, movement #530. file 196



The case displays S&G heavy hinge design. However, the conventional flat key lever door lock could not be installed since there was no room to do this on the modified door frame. The simple handcuff style key would not be introduced until the introduction of the Model 2[13] around 1896.


The case interior has the same threaded hole and mounting pin locators as their full standard case design. The rear mounting plate shows the witness marks made to locate the eight screw holes securing the case to the plate.


By the late 1870's time locks were sufficiently widely accepted to create demand for more customized formats. One example of such specific designs is a Variant Model 2 made by S&G around 1878.  The movement is identical to that of a Model 2[6]: the serial number 841, case serial number 830 and the construction style (black dials without front movement plate engraving or Geneva stops) place this time lock between Sargent's introduction of its Models 2[6] and 2[7]. However the door hinge is of the larger, earlier style, similar to Model 2[4]. The case is a one-piece casting, suggesting that it was factory produced, possibly using and older, heavier hinge mold for greater strength, given the long, narrow door. The shortened drop lever extends through a slot in the case and is tapped for a set screw, creating a bottom-release mechanism to operate on a safe lock or an unusual bolt work. While the style is similar to that used to actuate an automatic bolt motor, automatics had probably not been introduced at the time this lock is thought to have been made. The Variant Model 2 was installed in a safe, and it is shown here with its original mounting plate. (1)

Even the most successful time locks of the nineteenth century had production runs far smaller than those after 1900, since the number of banks in operation between 1870 and 1900 was never very great. And given the very high profit margins in this industry (see the introductory page), large makers were more willing to design particular variants of their base designs for use in specific safes. S&G was in a better position that most other makers since all of their production was in-house and so they had the facilities and skilled labor force to make this practical. S&G used a letter designation of 'A' on their early time locks that had a model number designation. This applies to their Models #2, #3 and #4. For example their Model 3A had the same movement as in their standard Model 3 but was designed to operate automatic bolt motor. Therefore the drop bolt work located underneath the movement was unnecessary and was removed with the case height being narrowed reflecting this change. S&G applied the same case technique as used here to shorten the height of the case. The same technique applied to their Model 4A which was also a standard Model 4 redesigned to operate directly on the fence of a Hall Premier combination lock. Therefore this author has also applied the designation of Model 2A to this lock. The other 'A' designated locks, however, did have those designations stamped on the lower rail of the front door frame

Model 2A, 1878. Possibly unique conversion by the Sargent and Greenleaf Company. Probably used in an application where the time lock operated directly on the fence of the combination lock and space on the safe door was at a premium. This is the same example as appears in John and David Erroll's book American Genius Nineteenth Century Bank Locks and Time Locks, page 194. 3 1/2"h x  8"w x 3"d. Case # 841, movement #841. file 195

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(1) American Genius Nineteenth Century Bank Locks and Time Locks, David Erroll & John Erroll, p. 194