Yale & Towne Manufacturing Co., Stamford, Connecticut - 3 movements, Type T321 DAT & T321, T321 large case format
The advent of ever stronger safes during the mid 1800's made the nighttime burglary more difficult to accomplish in the time available before opening time. Thieves then turned to what was known at the time as the "masked burglary" taking the proprietor or other person who knew the safe's combination and taking him to the premises to open the safe in the middle of the night. The time lock was invented to foil this strategy preventing the safe from access until the opening of business. This resulted in the early morning or even daytime holdup where the thief would come in just before or after opening time when the safe's time lock had gone off guard and making the personnel dial in the combination to the safe. This problem was quickly recognized by the security industry as evidenced by a number of patents applied for to circumvent this problem as early as the the late 1890's. But it was not until the two examples below by Yale that the first commercially produced time locks for this purpose were introduced in 1932 by retrofitting a time lock first marketed in 1890.
The first drawing shows Charles Miller's design to retrofit the Yale Model T321.This was thought to be the only type of lock Yale applied this design to until the discovery of a Yale Quad K DAT. The second drawing shows another patent filed for the retrofitting of a Sargent & Greenleaf Model #4 to accomplish the same purpose of a short term, quick, emergency way to put the time lock on guard, but there is no evidence that S&G ever adopted it. An interesting observation is that the S&G model depicted in the 1933 patent drawing is the earliest S&G Model #4 made between 1879 and 1884 as evidenced by the dial and Geneva stop design. Eventually all of the mainstream manufacturers designed a specialized time lock for short term, intraday protection, S&G in their timebination series of locks in 1936, followed by Mosler in their Do-All® series of locks and Yale's 6200 series.
This is an example of a standard Yale T321
Notice the shape of the bolt dog in the photo above which closely matches the design in the patent drawing.
A. Type T321 DAT (Delayed Action Timer) c. 1932. A rare dual purpose time lock based on a patent by Charles A. Miller as illustrated above. This timer contains two conventional Seth Thomas 72 hour Type T movements and one modified Type T movement that has a 7 hour duration. Type T movements were the smallest coffin style movements made for Yale. A day/night switch is provided to engage the 7 hour movement during the day time hours. This lock would fulfill two functions. The first to act as a normal overnight/weekend time lock; using the two 72 hour movements and the second to secure the vault for short period of times during the day, primarily in the event of a daytime burglary. The 7 hour timer could be set for intervals as short as 15 minutes and when the DAY STOP knob is set that movement is stopped via a light lever touching the balance wheel, therefore that movement is always in check for whatever amount of time has been dial in. In the event of a daytime robbery, the proprietor need only close the door, or more likely the door is closed, and then turn the bolt bolt actuator to trip the third short-term movement; by doing so the bolt is dogged for the amount of time previously dialed into that movement. Obviously a daytime yegg (the term yegg is actually used in the patent description and is an outdated term, first seen in 1901 for a robber) will not be able to wait around for the time lock to run down. The NIGHT STOP switch is used to disable the third movement from being able to be activated preventing it from accidentally putting the time lock off guard in the middle of the night, and is switched off during the day to allow the DAY STOP feature to work. Obviously one can readily see a danger here. If one forgets to deactivate the DAY STOP by setting the NIGHT STOP it is possible to set the short term timer running and put the lock off guard in the middle of the night. To see another Yale with modified Type T movements click here. Below is a similar, but slightly later dated example. That lock lacks the additional "DAY STOP" knob where a drive gear is located and combines it into a single switch removing the problem of the lock being left off guard accidentally. Less than fifty of the first version were made, probably in recognition of this problem, with this being the only known three movement example. Case #242, movements consecutively numbered T2494, T2495, special timer movement T2445. 4 3/8" w x 4 1/8" h x 2 1/2" d. file 8
B. Type T321 DAT (Delayed Action Timer). c. 1933. Same functionality as example 'A' above; this example being one of three known so far. The difference between this model and the earlier one is the DAY STOP and NIGHT STOP functions are combined into one switch, eliminating the possibility of the short-term timer being actuated when the lock is meant to be on guard throughout the night. The timer contains two conventional Seth Thomas 72 hour Type T movements and one modified Type T movement that has a 7 hour duration. Type T movements were the smallest coffin style movements made for Yale. A day/night switch is provided to engage the 7 hour movement during the day time hours. This lock would fulfill two functions. The first to act as a normal overnight/weekend time lock and the second to secure the vault for short period of times during the day as described in example A. The 7 hour timer could be set for intervals as short as 15 minutes. To see another Yale with modified Type T movements click here. Below is a similar, but later dated example mounted into a safe door. Notice the Yale time lock advertisement on the door stating the safe is protected by a Yale time lock. There is also a photo of an identical model lock in the Harry Miller collection. Case #683, movements #T3307 , T3317, special timer movement #T3699. 4 3/8" w x 4 1/8" h x 2 1/2" d. file 257
The Mosler company also created a similar product in their Do-All®, Model D-A in 1938. There the time locks could be actuated for a selected period of 20, 40 or 60 minutes and used both of the regular 120 hour movements; making usage fool proof and eliminated the possibility of failure while a single movement was controlling the time lock as was the case in the Yale DAT series. Furthermore the short term actuation was accomplished by simply turning the combination dial.
C. Type T321, c. 1890. This lock is equipped with Yale's smallest production movements the 'T'. Yale began to introduce its brass machine finished case to replace the earlier nickel plated damascened case around 1908. The low serial number on the case and movements makes this early in the production run. The lock was reputedly removed from the Honolulu Bank in Hawaii in 1941. See photo below for a similar lock mounted into a Diebold vault door. Case #109. Movements # T207, T475, T481. 4 3/8" w x 4 1/8" h x 2 3/4" d. file 146
D. Type T321, c. 1920. Same as 'B' but a bit later version using the satin silver finish. Case #271, movements consecutively numbered T2988, T2989 and T2990. 4 3/8" w x 4 1/8" h x 2 3/4" d. file 86
E. Type T322, c. mid 1890's. This is a wider case format of the triple gang time lock using T movements. Why Yale would use a larger case when everything was otherwise the same as their smaller version depicted in example 'B' is unknown. Probably there was an application where the height was critical since this case is 7/8" less in height than examples A through D. This also necessitated the design of the very low profile snubber bar seen on the bottom of the case as opposed to the more conventional design over the front of the time lock dials. It also required the addition of the blued metal 'tail pieces' to connect to that snubber bar rather than being driven by a pin on the time lock's indicator dial which was Yale's standard design. Both Bankers Dustproof and Mosler used a similar trip lever and snubber bar arrangement. Notice in the third photo how Yale made provisions for the safe's bolt work to be able to be dogged by the time lock on either the left or right. One only need drill the appropriate hole on either side of the case and the bolt dog was already in place. The swoopy curved outlines of this part are beautiful. Case #41. Movements T669, T680, T681. 5"w x 3 1/2"h x 2 1/2"d. file 160
Photo from the Harry Miller Collection, Nicholasville, KY.