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On the Construction of Locks and Keys by John Chubb

Locksmithing, Blacksmithing, Metalcraft, Locks, Keys, Construction, Chubb, metalwork, security, antique, collectors, tools, education
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CONSTRUCTION OF LOCKS AND KEYS. 31 doors, and was found to answer exceedingly well. The same peculiar movement had also been applied to many other locks, by different makers, under the authority of licences from Mr. Nettle-fold.* Mr. HODGE explained the system he had previously alluded to, as having been employed in America for ascertaining the range of the tumblers. The process was described to be, that the operator, after thoroughly oiling the inside, and inserting two pieces of India rubber, to limit the sphere of action, injected from a force-pump, a composition of glue and molasses, in a heated state, which chilled quickly, and, although extremely elastic, had the property of retaining the form and position of the lower side, or bellies of the tumblers, and that after being cut out of the lock by a thin-bladed instrument, a key could be made from the impression sufficiently accurate to open the lock. This had repeatedly been done with the best tumbler locks, even on Chubb's principle; although he could not vouch for its having proved successful with any locks made by Mr. Chubb. The case-hardened iron curtain, he had mentioned, would effectually prevent the success of such a process, for obtaining the range and curve of the bellies of the tumblers. He thought, that the locks made in New York, were generally superior to those made in England, and he attributed it partly to the use of good machinery, for the production of the parts of the locks, instead of the primitive tools in use at Wolverhampton and other places, and partly to the small expense of patents in America, inducing the exercise of more ingenuity and invention among practical men. At a late exhibition of the American Institute, fifty, or sixty new and ingenious locks, of very superior workmanship, were produced, and he believed that nearly all were invented by practical workmen. In making these remarks, it was not his intention to detract from the reputation of the late Mr. Chubb, whose ingenuity he much admired, and of whose locks he admitted the general superiority in England; but he must assert, that he had seen more ingenious and better locks in America. Mr. CHUBB regretted, that what had been stated by Mr. Hodge, had not happened in London, instead of in New York; it must, however, be evident, that such a method was totally incapable of application to a lock of Mr. Chubb's own manufacture, though he could not answer for the workmanship, or the security of those * Nettlefold's lock was patented in 1839, by J. C. Schwieso.

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