LINUS YALE JR. - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED - HFSID 350452
Sale Price $1,912.50
LINUS YALE, JR.
The famous lock inventory writes a letter to his wife, complete with printed drawings of some of his locks.
Autograph Letter signed: "Linus," (and "Linus Yale Jr." on verso) 1¼ p, 3½ x 8. Johnson's Hotel, 1856 January 9. The inventor of the cylinder lock and combination lock writes to his wife, Kate. In full: "Here I am at Johnson's Hotel 9 o'clock Wednesday evening. Got along tolerably well on the only train through from Philad. Left at 2 P.M.- Found the MS. and brot (sic) it on asked John to send the note which accompanies it out to you. Did you get it? What do you think of the modification? Don't it show the way the wind blows? I think it is clear he thinks well of it or is at least anxious it should not come to N. York but I shall take it up to the Founders and try. I had much rather they would publish it. I am sorry we can not push it although it will by management go without. Got orders from Hull & Dodds for two more locks. Oseur is not in yet so don't know what is the news. My appointment with the Bank of Commerce is for tomorrow. Hope to succeed. Morris thinks it's a good idea to keep Remington in the business. Love to Children and much love to you always." In a postscript to the left, he adds: "Tell Johnny I have had very pleasant thoughts about his learning to read so well lately - they all seem to be learning very fast." On verso are printed drawings of locks headed by Yale: "Yales Burglur-proof Chilled iron for/Doors & Safes. Address/Linus Yale Jr./13 Chestnut Str. Philada Pa." Yellowing in areas, otherwise fine condition. Framed to an overall size of 40½ x 22¾. Framing exhibits minor chips.
On June3, 1856, Yale acquired a patent for an improved method of constructing locks. In 1856, he published his dissertation on locks and lock picking and the principles of burglar proofing. This probably was the manuscript ("MS.") he refers to in this letter. Through agents such as S. Remington & Co. of New York, Yale had established, by 1856, a large clientele for his bank locks and chilled iron safes (illustrated on verso of this letter). His clients included Hall & Dodds (a fireproof safe manufacturing company in Cincinnati) and the Bank of Commerce, Bangor, Maine, both of which endorsed Yale's doors and locks in his dissertation. Yale used his artistic abilities to create mechanical drawings of his inventions. He continually developed lock improvements and sought a way to eliminate the keyhole in the bank vault. In 1862, he perfected and patented a system with 100 million possible combinations which made it nearly infallible. His most successful invention, the forerunner to the padlock, was the Yale Cylinder Lock developed during the Civil War, which utilized a flat key with crafted teeth that controlled pin tumbler cylinders. The system was easy and inexpensive to manufacture and was quickly put into general service by the public, making the name "Yale" synonymous with locks.
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