This seal padlock had a high bid of $142.49 (Plus Free Shipping).
Here is one of the earliest patented locks that was made to hold a paper "recording number" seal. These locks were used on high security shipments and government business during the early 1870's. It is in uncleaned condition with all original patina and surface color, showing very light age pitting and wear. No breaks or repairs.
This never came with a key. It works by depressing a springed lever inside the "seal box". There is a factory hole just under the box for an extra padlock if needed. A numbered paper seal was recorded, inserted into the lock and then closed. The only way to open this lock is to punch a hole through the paper seal and depressing the lever, sliding the hasp open. A hole through the paper while in transit or use, would show that the contents were tampered with, either express, gold shipments, bank statements, taxed alcohol, firearms etc....
The lock is well marked on one side "E.J. BROOKS & CO. N.Y., PAT. JAN. 2, 1872." A little wear on the lettering, but all words can be read easily. The other side is marked " T S ? ? & CO. N.Y., PATENTED JAN. 2, 1872". The top of the hallmark is light or worn and I cannot make out the first few letters. The lock is 5 1/2" long (closed) and 3" wide. A very rare and seldem seen lock missing from most collections. - eBay (11 April 2010)