We have been collecting and researching the history of time locks since the mid-1990s and early on it became evident that, unlike key, combination, and pad locks, there was very little in the way of resources for a time lock collector. When we began, the only book that offered some survey of time locks was Albert Hopkins’ 1928 work Lure of the Lock, a book that describes the John M. Mossman Lock Collection at the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen in New York.
This led us to begin searching original source materials from the 19th century to try to better understand who made which time locks at what time and what their importance was to the banking industry. On October 12, 2006, in connection with the General Society, Quantuck Lane Press released our book, American Genius: Bank Locks and Time Locks of the Nineteenth Century. In this work, we trace the development of bank lock technology between about 1775 and 1915 by looking in some detail at many of the most interesting key, combination, and time locks.
This web site, by contrast, is designed for different purposes: to provide the public with a accessible resource to learn about time locks and to provide collectors and potential collectors with an informal reference guide to many of the time locks that they’re likely to come across — and some that they are not so likely to come across!
For now, time-lock.com is best understood as “under development,” although there won’t be a specific bright-line moment when it “goes live.” Rather, as we add more articles and cover more information, time-lock.com will become more complete and visitors will be more likely than not to find what they’re looking for.