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