Yale & Towne Manufacturing Co., Stamford, Connecticut - 3 movements, Type B, D & E



A, (Type B)

This style of time lock from Yale using Waltham pocket watch movements was first introduced via their Type B (pictured above) and Type C in 1888; there is no evidence of a Type A ever being produced. The Type B and C were supplanted by the Type D and Type E (pictured below) about a year later. With the exception of one much earlier and limited example by Holbrook's Automatic time lock of 1858, this was the first time that a time lock maker introduced the use of modular movements and it was soon to become the standard way of outfitting time locks. The actual replacement of each movement in this lock was still somewhat difficult compared to the 'drop in' designs which would follow on later. However, the movements still could be swapped out on the bank premises in much less time than a repair would need. This was the first and last time Yale used an OEM pocket watch movement in their time locks. The fact that the movements were beautifully damascened and gold gilt makes this lock one of the more visually interesting. (1)

The main differences between the earlier and later designs are the ways the watch movements were wound and the setting time was set and read. On the earlier models the watch movements were wound by the operator turning the entire disk containing those movements counterclockwise. One can see the knurling around this part in the third photo to facilitate the grip of ones hand to turn the movement disk. The fifth and sixth photos clearly show how the gearing located on the reverse side of the movement disk accomplishes this. The fourth and seventh photos depict the fixed read out dial hand that shows the setting time as engraved on the movement disk. A big disadvantage to this design is the fact that there is no chance to correct for overwinding since all three movements are wound simultaneously. Consequently Yale's instructions noted specifically that the user "must be careful when winding to to turn the cylinder to the left to take up the recoil of the springs, and to leave the desired mark standing exactly opposite the pointer". But with the risk of the inconvenience of over winding was so high that Yale included an over winding correction pin hole at the six and nineteen hour marks. Should the user overwind, a special pin was placed in the six hour hole. The dial would then be turned to the intended number of hours plus six, and as long as the pin was in place the lock would open when the movements ran down to six rather than zero. The nineteen hour hole worked in the same fashion. (1) I have seen an example of the Type B with those over winding protection pins. However those over winding protection pins and their corresponding holes are not present on this lock. It must have been produced before incorporation of that feature. With a case number of 2B it conceivably could have been the second example of the Type B produced. Or this may have been a Yale prototype with the over winding protection pins later incorporated into the regular production run.

The second generation models as represented by Type D and E did away with the movement disk being turnable for the purposes of winding and replaced it with a central winding square upon which is also mounted the setting dial hand. The method of reading the time is now reversed by using fixed dial around the perimeter and a moveable hand that rotates as one winds the time lock to show the correct time duration until the lock would go off guard. These was a great improvements over the more fragile and harder to read system as represented in the earlier design. Since one did not need to grasp the movement disk as it was now a fixed piece in which the watch movements are mounted, it could now be sealed within the case with only a hole needed through the front glass for the winding key as is common in many time locks. This also allowed Yale to dispense with the expense of an external case to protect the moveable disk and the gearing behind it from abuse and dirt. The greater ease of use and accuracy of the new winding system and dial design allowed Yale to dispense with the overwinding pins. Only eighteen Type B's and fourteen Type C's were produced. However, Yale's redesign was so superior to the earlier one that the company actively sought to supplant those earlier pieces by replacing them with later models. Therefore only two Type B and no Type C's are known to exist.

Yale type D.JPG (2335846 bytes)  Yale type D (1).JPG (2329408 bytes)

                                                  Yale type D (2).JPG (2332208 bytes) B, (Type D)

   Yale 3mvt- type E.jpg (795187 bytes)  Yale 3mvt- type E (1).jpg (727298 bytes)

                              Yale 3mvt- type E (2).jpg (1041931 bytes) C, (Type E)

A. Yale Type B, 1888. The Yale Type B was the model which used a bolt dog stop the safe bolts from being withdrawn and Type C was equipped with a bottom release for use with automatic bolt motors. The same differentiation as used in their later models Type D and Type E described below. The company of E. Howard & Co. and later, after 1902, Seth Thomas supplied nearly all of the movements for Yale time locks (until the 1950's when movements from Switzerland were used). An exception are these models which used a modified version of a pocket watch; size #14, model 84 movements by American Waltham Watch Co. Waltham was also extensively used in Mosler time locks. The movements were designed with anti-magnetic qualities - cutting edge technology for the day. Yale sold a total of 18 Type B's between 1888 and 1889. This being the only known example. 4.5"w X 5"h x 3"d. Case #2B, movements, #3509728, #3509757, #4323326. file 177

B. Yale Type D, c. 1890. This lock was designed to operate in the conventional manner, that is directly upon the bolt works of the safe. A stop pin, third photo, was featured on this version which allowed the user to bypass the time lock and allow the safe to be opened with only the combination lock. Yale sold a total of 62 Type D's between May 1889 and June of 1892. 4.5"w x 5"h x 2.5"d. Case #36, movements #4658505, 4658556, 4658586. file #129

C. Yale Type E, c. 1889.  Same as model D except this was designed to be used with automatic bolt motors activated by the side pin as shown in the second photo. An example of this lock is shown mounted to a MacNeale and Urban safe door with Yale bolt motor below. Yale sold a total of 139 model E's between May 1889 and June of 1892. 4.5"h x 4.5"w x 2.5"d. Case #6, movements #3509613, 3509767, 4527341. file 95

An interesting aside is the fact that both Seth Thomas and E. Howard were companies that made a full line of clocks and watches. From large tower clocks (for public buildings) to domestic clocks to watches as well as movements for time locks. Click here to see a medium sized Seth Thomas and Howard tower clock.

(1). American Genius - Nineteenth Century Bank Locks and Time Locks, John and David Erroll, pg. 244