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Feb 7, 2009

1850 American Padlock - Day Newell & Day - Civil War Lock

I really like this modern-looking padlock. Once again, the selling price confirms the claim of this being a rare padlock.

This lock is the focal point of my collection, and likely one of the rarest early american padlocks you will ever see. The reserve is far less than the price one brought last year at auction.

For your consideration I submit this extremely rare early American high security padlock made by an early bank lock maker Day Newell & Day. This maker was known mostly for their bank locks however they did make a few padlocks which are extremely rare today. This lock is circa 1845 - 1850. It features an unusual pick proof mechanism which was high security at the time, and infact would still be extremely difficult or impossible to pick today. It is a three lever lock, which also contains a detector lever. Also unique to this lock is it's odd shape referred to as Avant Garde. There is an article on these type of locks in the April - June 2008 The Antique Lock Collector. You can find some information on Day Newell Day in the book American Genius by David and John Erroll. The book is about nineteenth-century bank and time locks.

I purchased this in a group of items at a early militaria auction some time ago and it came with a very old hand written tag that say's "Lock on magazine, Fort Donelson Tenn, Feb.,17th 1862, taken off by Company C (or G?) 2nd U.S. Cavalry, 1rst Seargent C. Prozellen, owned by Lt. Prozellen this city, weight 16" The backside has a different weight for the lock and key which says 10 oz. The lock actually weighs 1 pound 1 5/8 ounces so Iassume the 16 ounce weight was taken with an inaccurate scale and cannot explain the 10 ounce weight on the backside unless the card was used for several locks or was just reused? The hand writing is very hard to read so I apologize for any mis-spelling on my part.

The lock is solid brass, and measures 4 1/8 inches long, 3 inches across, and 3/4 inch thick not including the 1/8 inch thick key cover. It is unmarked which seems to be unusual, the other two I have seen were stamped DAY NEWELL & DAY above the key cover. As I mentioned earlier the lock weighs 1 pound 1 5/8 ounces.

Although unmarked I guarantee it is an authentic Day Newell padlock. I would also like to mention that the President of the American Lock Collector Association, and editor of the Journal Of Lock Collecting will also vouch for it's authenticity and maker.

I will be happy to answer questions, and email pictures upon request. - eBay (26 Jan 09)

This Amazing padlock sold for $2,500 (Plus $35.20 Shipping).

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