Slaymaker Brass B.I.A. Government Seal Padlock
This padlock sold for $139 (Plus $11 Shipping).
This is a nice, vintage, all brass Seal Padlock used by the United States Government made by the Slaymaker Padlock Company.
This padlock and padlocks similar to them were called SEAL PADLOCKS.
When you inserted the key into these locks and opened them , it released another door in the padlock that opened out on a hinge.
You will see in the photo that the sliding keyhole cover has another level under it. This is the seal door.
When that second door was unhinged, a Government printed seal, which looked something like a postage stamp, was placed over the keyhole in the padlock.
Then this " door " was closed and the shackle of the padlock was locked, thus locking the whole mechanism closed.
Now when you slid aside the top brass keyhole protector door you would see the keyhole was blocked with paper, that was the " seal " that was inserted before locking the padlock.
In order to open this padlock, the inserted key would have to puncture and break the paper seal, thereby letting someone know that the lock had been opened.
This seal padlock was used by the B.I.A., which was the predecessor to what is now the I.R.S., the Internal Revenue Service. The B.I.A. stood for the Bureau Of Internal Affairs.
During prohibition these padlocks were locked on warehouses and storage areas where confiscated alcoholic beverages, bootleg whiskey , scotch and the like were kept.
It also had other uses where it was needed to be known that the lock was opened.
Usually when the lock was opened, it was recorded who opened the lock, the time , date etc.
This isn't needed now with computers and electronic alarm systems, but it was state of the art at the time.
I believe these were used up until the 1950's era.
This Seal Padlock is in very good condition, with some dings and knocks from use.
It comes with it's original brass key stamped with a number which matches the number on the shackle of the seal padlock.
The padlock is also marked " B.I.A. U.S. "
The mechanism works great, the key goes into the keyhole a bit stiff and is a bit stiff to remove, but it comes out with a steady pull.
When you close the seal door and lock the shackle the mechanism sounds like a fine machine.
The padlock measures 3+3/4 inches high, 2+1/2 inches wide and close to 3/4 of an inch thick.
It is very heavy.
It uses a barrel key with a hole in the center for the post on the padlock.
You can still buy the vintage seals that went with these padlocks on online auctions called Cinderella auctions or items.
These are items that look like postage stamps, but are not and usually do not have a monetary value on them like the old whiskey bottle tax stamps.
A fine item for your collection and no charge for the above history lesson!! - eBay (29 March 09)