Yale & Towne Manufacturing Co., Stamford, Connecticut - 3 movements, Type C

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In 1887, Yale patented a time lock design that would mark a new direction for Yale and, eventually, the entire time lock industry: its Type B and Type C time locks, which went into production in 1888. Based on pocket watch movements rather than on the larger clock movements of the Pin Dials, these smaller-format movements were inherently suited to be individually replaceable or "modular" movements. These were also the smallest format three movement time locks made to that time. Yale would not have a smaller three movement design for bolt dog release until the model T321 introduced about 1900 and would never surpass the compact Yale C and E designs for the automatic release function. No other time lock manufacturer made a smaller three movement lock.

The line of Yale Type B through EE time locks pictured, upper row from left to right. The lower row shows A and G.

Only the Type B through EE series went into production.

The A was a unique patent prototype piece and was never slated for production. The G was only made as salesman's samples. At the present time only one Type C, EE and complete G has been found. Like the EE shown, Yale did make one or two BB, and three DD locks, none of which are known to survive. There were no records of a CC being made. These facts makes this collection unique in that it contains the most complete set of all the examples extant. No records for or examples of a Type F are known.

Front elevation of the Yale Type C with glass bezel. Unlike the screw-down bezel of the Type A this bezel is a bayonet style.

Front elevation of the Yale type C with the glass bezel removed. The outer dial ring is engraved into the rotating movement table can just be seen around the perimeter edge.


Three quarter elevation with bezel on, left and off, right. The perimeter hand grip knurl is located just below the thin, engraved dial ring round the beveled perimeter of the rotating movement plate.


The glass cover shown on a dark background to better reveal the etched glass lettering, "YALE LOCK MANUFACTURING CO. TRIPLE MOVEMENT TIME LOCK, PATENTED MAY 31, 87." The cover, which is not easily slipped off the base case collar due to the tight machining tolerance and depth of the cylinder, must be fully removed to set the time lock. This risks damage to to the bezel piece from mishandling, mainly being dropped from pulling it off. It is remarkable that the original glass is still intact. The second photo shows the rear side of the rotating movement plate. As with the Type B, the center gear which is held stationary to the case through a pin inserted into a hole at the 6 o'clock position of the gear, simultaneously winds the three satellite gears; one for each watch mainspring. A pin on the surface of the movement plate, near the perimeter, also located at the 6 o'clock position and also at the zero hour dial location engages with the release shown in the lower case.


A demonstration of the Yale Type C, 1888 winding and setting demonstration. Next a comparison of the release levers between the Type C and Type E locks.

Yale Type C, 1888. The Yale Type C was designed with a release to be used with an automatic bolt motor. 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 the Yale Type B through G models which used a modified version of a pocket watch; size #14, model 84 movements by American Waltham Watch Co. A smaller Waltham movement was also later 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 14 Type C's between May 1888 and March 1889. Serial numbering appears to go up to 40. At the time of the publication of American Genius, John and David Erroll, there were no known examples of the Type C. Since then this one has surfaced and is to date the only known example. 4.5"w X 5"h x 3"d. Case #20, movement plate #94, movements, #4323139, #4527203, #4658581. file 193

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.

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