Sargent & Greenleaf, Rochester, New York - 3 movements, Model Triple B, Special (upside-down model)

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Sargent & Greenleaf made a variant of their standard triple B and Triple D in an upside-down version to accommodate specialized boltwork configurations. This must have been a very rare event as this is the only example known of the Triple B Special.


One can readily see the difference between the standard Triple B on the left and the Triple B Special on the right. The Triple B Special is oriented 180 from the normal position. Note that it is not simply turned upside-down; look carefully at the orientation of the door lock  keyhole, they are both oriented in the right-side up position. The drop bolt on the right is still in the right side up position.


The main difference between the two models centers on the snubber bar locking lever. On the left the lever is designed to hold the drop lever from below the snubber bar. On the Special model the lever is shaped to hold the drop bolt aloft above the snubber bar. The drop bolt is otherwise identical between the two locks.


The inside case. Here one can see immediately the different orientation of the three milled recesses for the winding barrel case of each timer movement. Another is the fifth case mounting hole located just above and off to the right of the milled recess for the center movement spring barrel, and is below and to the left in the next photo. This means that either S&G didn't bother with the fifth mount in the Special, or the door requiring the Special, also had this fifth hole located in that spot. Other than these two examples, seeing the minor differences in the case design is difficult.


In this photo I turned the Triple Special on the right upside-down to match the interior design of the regular triple B on the left to make the small differences more apparent. The white arrows show the points where the snubber bar assembly is mounted to the case and are identical between the two. The two black arrows show where the case is machined differently. The drop bolt hub is machined in a different location and is necessary since it would be in a different orientation when turned 180. The second is the drop bolt nose-guide. This is positioned so as to be next to the nose of the drop bolt when it is in the on-guard position to prevent it being knocked aside in the event of an explosive attack. As with the hub it must be on the opposite side, but it is also located slightly closer to the corner of the case. While the two drop bolts are identical to each other, they are positioned backward in orientation to each other so the point of the drop bolt's nose is positioned closer to the corner in the Special model than the regular one. There is a small depression drilled into the nose guard of the Special to accommodate one of the screw heads securing the door lock; the location of the lock screw in the regular Triple B was not adjacent to the nose guard.

In the circled area the small protrusion on the left serves as a stop for the drop lever's maximum travel upward. This prevents the end of the bolt from contacting one of the snubber bar's mounting points on the case should the operator push it too hard. In the Special model, that protrusion is milled flat since the bolt when raised by the operator travels away from that point. In it's place is a pin (a bit hard to see but is positioned in the center of the circle). That pin acts to disengage the drop bolt's small locking lever when it is at rest. That function is performed by the case floor in the standard model on the left. There is no need for a stop point to limit the drop bolt's upward travel on the Special as this is performed by the case ceiling. See photos below.


These photos show how the pin described in the caption above engages the small drop bolt spring-loaded locking lever. In the first photo the drop bolt is in the lowered, off guard position; next in the raised, on guard position where the locking lever is raised above the pin allowing it to be engaged. In the conventional Triple B design the function of the pin would have been accomplished by the drop bolt resting on the floor of the case. But look carefully, the heavy bolt is not being supported by the pin, the bolt is resting on lip protruding across the top of the three milled spring barrel recesses. The pin merely controls to position of the locking lever.


Since the drop bolt nose is in a position closer to the case corner when in the on guard position in the Special, the bolt hole cannot accommodate the standard wide chrome flange; a small flange must be substituted and even this comes right up to the corner of the case. The next photo shows the differences in the snubber bar and in particular the locking lever between the standard model and the Special, below. 


This illustration is from a S&G catalog showing a Triple B Special. Note the dials have the Sargent & Greenleaf Company designation making it between 1896 and 1918 when the designation changed to Sargent and Greenleaf, Inc. The lock illustrated has the bronze jeweled case. The example here is a satin nickel design along with high duration movements with the S&G Rochester, NY which may have been fitted at a later date.


Video comparing the differences between Sargent & Greenleaf's standard Triple B and the Triple B Special which was meant to be operated in an inverted (upside-down) position. This was used in rare instances where the boltwork of the safe or vault door were in an unusual position requiring this design.

Model Triple B, Special, version 3, c. 1920. The Special was made to accommodate installations with specialized boltwork configurations requiring the drop bolt in a higher location. This must have been a very rare necessity as this author has seen only this example of a Triple B Special. Case and bolt # B-904, 'L' sized movements #1-1535, 1-1545, 1-1548. file 305

There is also one other known example of a Triple D Special currently located overseas, see below. 


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