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 Barron & Barron Patent Locks 

Barron's Patent built into a Portfolio lock, made from a Half Crown and a Four Penny piece by Mr Henry Yates. (from George Prices's 1856 Treatise, fig.455, and description on page 892.)
Barrons Patent, Strand

Barron Rim Deadlock. Barron Rim Deadlock - interior.

Barron Rim deadlock

Case Size: 178mm x 120mm. 3 tumbler.

Barron Son & Wilson
Barron Son & Wilson 3 tumbler lock. Barron Son & Wilson 3 tumbler lock - interior. barron Son & Wilson Box lock - detail.

Barron Son & Wilson box lock
Case Size: 78mm x 44mm. 3 tumbler.

Barron's Lock

1778 was a pivotal moment in English lockmaking. Robert Barron's patent is the first to explore the 'double acting' principle. (British Patent No.1200 dated 31st October 1778)

The two-page specification, which also didnít contain a drawing, belies the importance of this invention. Previously the fixed ward, in many simple and complicated shapes, was the basis of security. The bolt was held in either the locked or unlocked position by a simple tumbler catch which located in notches in the top edge of the bolt lath.

There were two elements that when brought together provided security that was as in Robert Barrons own words "A lock far more secure than any hitherto made".

Firstly, instead of the tumbler notches being placed on the top edge of the bolt lath they were placed each side of a longitudinal slot cut along the middle of the lath. This meant that the tumbler had to be lifted a precise amount to slide along the slot. If it werenít lifted enough or if it were lifted to much the bolt couldnít move. (This is the double acting principle.)

Secondly, if two, three or more tumblers were used they would all have to be lifted to their individual height simultanisly in order to operate the lock.

All this was quite revolutionary at the time and sparked a new era in English lock making.
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This page was last updated February 2012
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