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Sep 24, 2008

Brass US Customs Lock with Counter

This seems to be a very rare lock with enclosed counter used by US Customs at some time long ago:

This a great looking old brass lock marked “U.S. CUSTOMS”. Serial number 22361 is stamped on the face of the lock, and “S/2” is stamped on the closing portion above. The amazing feature of this lock is that is has a little door on the side that opens to reveal a counter that tells you how many times the lock was opened by the way of 4 tumblers (like in a combination lock) behind a glass partition. Currently it reads “J 0 3 6“. Unfortunately, I do not have the key. Back of the lock is marked “PAT./NOV.19, 1889/MAY 19, 1891/MADE BY/ SMITH & EGGE/MF’G Co./BRIDGEPORT/CONN.” Another great looking unique item. - As posted on eBay

This item sold for $385 dollars. The other well known counter lock, the US Registered Mail lock seems to be occasionally available on eBay for about $100 when the lock includes a working key. While I mention that the lock is very rare, that is as far as publicly available locks. The lock has a high serial number, so theoretically there can be thousands of these in a box somewhere or they might even still be in use. (Not likely given the age and the availability of cutable sutoms seals.)


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