Arago: Mailbag Padlocks

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Mailbag Padlocks

Lever pouch padlock

Description:

Iron lock developed by Solomon Andrews. The front of the shackle was stamped "U. S. MAIL 1862" and the back, “S. ANDREWS PERTH AMBOY N-J.” by the manufacturer. The lock design and mechanism are as shown in patent number 1,882 issued to Solomon Andrews on December 5, 1840. The case of this lock is similar to a clam shell. It is made up of two plates of iron that were formed to shape by use of a die. The two halves are fitted with the internal mechanism and then joined together with rivets. The clam shell design had fewer parts and required fewer steps during manufacturing than contemporary padlocks and thus could be sold at a lower price. The mechanism uses four to six levers with integral springs that act on a single hook at the end of the shackle. Solomon Andrews was the primary source of locks for the Post Office Department from 1840 to 1842. After 1842 locks were also purchased from H.C. Jones. This lock was primarily used to secure mail bags. This lock was damaged during a robbery.

References:

U.S. Patent office, Patent Number 1,882.

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

Date:
1862
Medium:
iron
Dimensions:
Height x Width x Depth: 3 7/8 x 2 3/8 x 1 3/16 in. (9.8 x 6 x 3 cm)
Museum ID:
2001.2001.333
Place:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

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