Arago: Mailbag Padlocks

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Mailbag Padlocks

Lever pouch padlock

Description:

Brass lock developed by the Eagle Lock Company, Terryville, Connecticut. The front is embossed “1000” over "U. S. REG’D. MAIL" and “PAT’D JULY, 1871” along the bottom by the manufacturer. The rectangular steel shackle is stamped “EAGLE LOCK CO.” The back is stamped 1875. The mechanism of the lock is similar to the round lock shown in patent number 117,064, granted to Edward L. Gaylord on July 18, 1871.

Edward Gaylord became the president of Eagle Lock in 1870. The patent was granted for improvements to the key and mechanism that included a second set of wards (or bits) on the side of the key that, along with the regular bits of the key, act on a pair of interlocking levers to open the lock. As in earlier Eagle designs, there are six levers, three that are acted on by each set of bits on the key. Prior to this invention, a double-bitted key was used to open this type of mechanism. The end of the shackle has a notch in each side that engages with the levers. It was felt that brass locks provided more safety, so they were usually used for securing registered mail. It is unknown what the meaning of the “1000” is that appears on this lock.

Reference:

U.S. Patent office, Patent Number 117,064

“Postal locks: a primer for the postal lock collector,” J.R. Mundy, 1992.

“Illustrated Catalog and Price List of Padlocks manufactured by Eagle Lock Company,” 1905.

Date:
July 18, 1871
Markings:
on shackle front "EAGLE LOCK CO"; on shackle reverse 1875"; case front "1000 / U.S. REG'D. MAIL / PAT'D JULY.1871"
Medium:
brass
Dimensions:
Height x Width x Depth: 3 x 2 1/8 x 1/2 in. (7.62 x 5.4 x 1.27 cm)
Museum ID:
1992.2002.823
Place:
Connecticut

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