Yale & Towne Manufacturing Co., Stamford, Connecticut - 4 movements, Quad-N, v.1 with Yale No. 1 automatic bolt motor

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The difference between the Quad N version 1 and 2 is in the door design. The v.1 had a full glass design with the winding holes through the glass. It was soon discovered that glass breakage could occur from a careless insertion of the key. This was a particular problem if the operator used a key that was slightly oversized to the winding square where it would flop sideways against the eyelet hole. This was soon replaced with the half-glass design where the door metal extended over where the key holes were located. The v.1 vs. v.2 design extended to other Yale models. For their other automatic time locks designed for use with a bolt motor there was the Triple L, Triple P (a three movement version of the Quad N); for their models designed for use with manually driven door boltwork there was the Triple K, Triple O, Quad M.

The bolt motor is Yale's No. 1 Double Reserve Bolt Operating Device. It consists of two sections. To the left is a square section which is the motor; to the right is a rectangular damper box.

The bolt motor cover is off and damper box parted from the motor. There are two redundant springs to drive the vault door bolt works. Only one is needed to do the job, just as redundancy is used in the time lock where only one of four timers is needed to put the lock off guard and actuate the bolt motor. The damper box acts as a shock absorber to mediate the sudden and violent action of the powerful spring release, thus easing the release action on the vault door's boltwork.


Perspective view of the time lock with the bolt motor cover removed. On the left is the "business end" of the motor. The square bolt between the cylinders is what pushes the vault door's bolt works open under the influence of either of the two very powerful spring. To the right is the other end of the motor bolt as represented by a pair of "T" shaped pieces, so the entire motor bolt is shaped like a sideways wishbone. The pair of bolts shown are keyed into the damper box, now removed.


The damper box is seen in the first photo with the center two pistons extended. These are fairly difficult to move as they are seated within a heavy viscous material. It's amazing that these still function smoothly after 125 or so years. Next photograph shows the winding handle for the motor springs. One can appreciate how powerful, and thus, stiff these springs are by the size of the key handle. Only one-quarter turn is needed to load the spring.


These patent drawings represent the bolt motor design and is very close to the bolt motor in this example. It appears that there are three dampening pistons in the drawing vs. the four in the actual motor, and the twin cylinders on the front are not present.


A demonstration of the Yale model Quad N time lock mounted to a Yale No. 1 automatic bolt motor. Both the Quad N and No. 1 bolt motor were Yale's largest and meant for the largest vault doors.

Quad-N, v.1, c. 1900. This was Yale's biggest and heaviest automatic time lock using the companies' largest movements, the "M" size. Weighing in at twenty two pounds it was for use in the largest vault doors, see photo below. This example, version 1, had the full glass door panel which was  replaced by 1908 with the half-glass design due to the easy breakage of the glass from careless winding. The change in glass design distinguishes the v.1 from the v.2 across much of Yale's early product line; and can be seen in the Triple L, P, Quad N, for automatic bolt motors and Triple K and O for conventional bolt work. This example was introduced in the mid 1890's and was advertised to have a combined pull exceeding seventy pounds. It was a bit of an odd promotion since the Quad M did not depend on the movements to "pull" much of anything, see demonstration video. It only needed to push a small lever aside to actuate the bolt motor below the lock.

The fact is that this model was scaled up to match the size of the larger vault doors. It would not look good for a massive door to depend upon a 'dinky' time lock to guard it even if this was a perfectly effective design. Appearance, decoration and promotion was a big part of the industry at this time; an impressive presentation to the customer played a large part in the design of time locks. The profit margins were large and so patent litigation was key, as it is today, to keep out competitors. Yale made about one-hundred of the nickel plated full glass model shown here. This author knows of no other extant, although surely some must exist. The lock is equipped with long duration 120 hour movements. Yale actively campaigned to convert their 72 hour movements as the longer durations became more popular. However, the tell-tale circular witness mark left from the larger winding gear that was mounted on on the 72 hour winding square is absent so these may be a very early set of original longer duration movements.

The time lock is mounted to the original Yale No. 1 Double Reserve Bolt Operating Device the automatic bolt motor it was installed with. The No. 1 was Yale's heaviest, most powerful bolt motor for use with the largest vault doors. The combined weight of the time lock and motor is 75 lbs. (34 kg).

Time lock only: 9 1/4"w x 6 1/4"h x 3 1/2"d. Case #38, movement #MH 128, MH 130, MH 137, MH 138. file 289
Bolt motor only: 14" w x 9"h x 3 1/2"d. Case #128
Overall: 14"w x 14 3/4h x 31/2"d


Quad-N, v.1, c. 1900. This was Yale's biggest and heaviest automatic time lock using the companies' largest movements, the "M" size, same type as in the example above and was the four movement version of the Triple P. Case #58, movements#1325, #1510, #1548, #4081. file 297

The photo below shows a large round vault door equipped with a Yale Quad N and No.1 bolt motor similar to the example above.


This photo shows a Hollar vault with a Yale Quad N that has had its original M-sized movements replaced with a set of smaller modern, Swiss-made Yale L-movements. The automatic bolt motor has a beautiful bevel glass insert in place of the solid name plate. This is the only example this author has ever seen of this style, but an illustration of this type appears in a 1908 catalog. It is interesting that the owners are confident that the weaker, smaller movements have sufficient power to trip the bolt motor. The entire rationale for the Quad N was its having the larger, stronger M-movements to ensure the motor's release. At least this was the marketing rational from Yale. In reality it took a very small amount of force to trip even their largest bolt motor and the larger scale time lock and movements were presented to match that of the door.

This shows a large round vault door, Hollar, equipped with a Yale Quad N and No.1 bolt motor similar to the example above.

This photo is a close up of the one above it. Notice the small box mounted to the Quad N. The plaque reads "Hollar's Patent Electric Winding Mechanism for Time Locks". Apparently Hollar also made the rewinding system found in their integrated Hollar-branded time locks available as an external option for other, presumably Yale, time locks. This is the only example of the re-winder this author has ever seen. Surely some internal changes to the standard time lock would be needed to make this option functional, and according to their patent #545,021 dated August 20, 1895, the third movement is replaced with a special movement that works in concert with the external re-winder mounted to the top. So it appears that the third movement is a replacement to make this now a conventional Quad N with the re-winder now no longer functional.

In this photo a Yale Quad N  with what appears to be replacement Swiss L-sized movements is located in an emergency entry door to a Mosler vault. Notice the beautiful bevel glass covering the lock and bolt motor. But what is interesting is the construction of the vault. There is another inner door of a far thinner construction behind the outer door without a time lock and a single combination lock. The opening has a crenulated perimeter that matches the very close spaced bolts on the door. It appears that these bolts did not retract like those on the outer door; the entire door rotated a few degrees to position those door bolts behind the teeth in the opening. Also interesting is the large space between the outer and inner doors. This was part of a fire protection design.

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