Last week I posted photos of some very old Von Duprin exit devices which were originally installed on the entrance doors to the Shatford Centre in Penticton, British Columbia. I later communicated with the millworker, Plexus Woodworks, who built the new doors, and several people from the Shatford Centre, as well as other blog readers who chimed in with questions and comments. If you know someone who is knowledgeable about antique hardware, please forward this post to them to see what else we can learn about this hardware.
I received several additional photos of the devices:
I was so relieved to hear that the facility appreciates the historical significance of this hardware – they even have several devices still installed and functioning!
There were some questions about the Von Duprin device being manufactured by Yale & Towne…I checked my reference book “The Builders Hardware Industry – A United States History, 1830’s to 1990’s” and it does mention that a Yale & Towne plant was opened in St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada in 1913. And yes, Yale & Towne did eventually become Yale, as we know them today.
The Von Duprin pages in the same book don’t mention that Von Duprin was manufactured by Yale & Towne, but it does state that Von Duprin contracted out their manufacturing for much of their early existence. The manufacturing companies listed in the book are Sager Lock Co. of North Chicago, Universal Brass Co. of Indianapolis, and Paramount Mfg. Co. of Indianapolis. Based on the fact that the Yale & Towne plant was open when the building was built (1921) and Von Duprin subsequently introduced the B2 and A2 models in 1932 and 1933, my guess is that the devices in the photos have been there from the beginning.
Deb Henson sent a link to a patent filed in 1905 for an emergency exit-door lock by Hugh Elmer Clark of Rochester, NY. Pretty cool, even if it’s a little clunky:
Here are the Von Duprin pages from the book:
Photos courtesy of the Shatford Centre.
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Love it. Keep up the good work!!!
Well done! Great historical reading….
Very nice I would have bet money they were 44 series. Thanks for the education.
All I can add is that at some point, the Von Duprin plant was relocated to Chambly Quebec, where it remained until IR moved it back to Ontario in 1983 as part of the consolidation with LCN (Mississauga, Ont) and Schlage (moved from Vancouver B.C.).
I have been scouring the internet tonight looking for anything on 44 devices, I found some earlier today and I had never heard of their existence before, so I thought I’d dig in. (Get it!?)
I see Bob Watson’s post above mentions Chambly Quebec, and that’s what I found on these ones, does anyone know how old they may be? For how many, and which years the Canadian plants produces VON DUPRIN and the timeline of VD series, ie From conception to discontinuation?
So many questions…..