Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Missing locks, orphaned keys

We usually hear of lost keys, but seldom, lost locks!  As a matter of fact, it is true, in our house. As such, 'orphaned' keys have got accumulated over decades.  They had been scattered in various places in the house like drawers, boxes and shelves which were reached less often.  Slowly, I began to gather them and found many including some that may have been used by my great grandfather 80 years ago, going by their shapes.  They are mostly padlock keys.

Antique items have always attracted me.  So it was no wonder I did not discard a single key, even though they are not very grandly spectacular or special.  When I was fingering through the 'collection' one day, I found there were different types of keys, fit for a classification.  The internet is such a boon when we want to look up at anything.  It helped me know the names of the three basic parts of the key.  The handle which we operate is called the 'bow' and a 'shank' connects it to the 'bit' that operates the levers inside the lock.  If you want to know a bit more, click here.  There are many who collect keys as a hobby.

There are many types of keys as well, but here let me show 'my collection'. 'Accumulation' may be the right word.  I classify them into three broad categories:

1. Flat Keys.

2. Solid Shank.

3. Hollow Shank.

Now see the full array I have arranged.  There are some interesting shapes of the 'bow'

Below are pictures of the lot with the solid shank.

Now, you will see the hollow shank. 

More hollow shank...a few here are may be more than a century old. You will certainly know by their shapes.

Some more of hollow shank.

This is what I did to my favourite lock and key, lest they left each other.   I may need them some day!  Securing them together is the key!  They stay connected.

Some close shots of a few keys.

This was my father's bicycle wheel lock.  Notice the keys. 
The lock is German.

 Miller Lock Co., Philadelphia, USA.

 Chubb's, 126, Queen Victoria Street, London. Patent Lock!

A vintage key. 

Notice the brass bow to the iron shank.

A locksmith will make you new or duplicate keys for existing locks.  But if keys are orphaned, they stay orphaned. 

This locksmith works in a small space on Rava Street, near Gandhi Square and he has this space occupied for more than 50 years and he is continuing his father's profession there.  Expert.   Most of these are blank keys out of which he will pick up to make duplicates or new ones depending on the lock.

I will show the locks with keys in a separate post.  This is all for now.

1 comment:

Susan Hirneise Moore said...

Beautiful job, Dinu. Wonderful blog entry. Very entertaining. Who knew keys could be so entertaining?!!!