Masonic Story Padlock


Here is a most unusual artifact... a Masonic Story Lock.  Commemorative locks have been issued for many occasions in the US.  Story locks were made by the Norwich Lock Manufacturing Company during the latter part of the 1800's and are generally made of cast iron and extremely decorative on both sides. These Story locks are rare and command high prices which reflect that, but beware, there are reproductions of some of them.  The above padlock was made depicting the Masonic Square and Compasses with the Letter "G", trowel, and plumb on both sides.   It has a push key that slides in at the bottom to open it.

About the Norwich Lock Manufacturing Company from Padlock Quarterly Magazine

According to Early Locks and Lockmakers of America by Thomas F. Hennesy, the Norwich Lock Company was formed in Norwich, Connecticut in 1865 and was reorganized in 1872 as the Norwich Lock Manufacturing Company (N.L.M. Co.).  The N.L.M. Co. had an extensive line of Builders Hardware (mortise locks and associated items of door hardware) and a very large selection of padlocks, most of which were the wrought iron or smokehouse type.  Many of these padlocks can be identified by the "N.L.M. Co." marking on the drops.  The N.L.M. Co. remained in business until 1905.

The April 1883 N.L.M. Co. Catalog shows an extensive line of Builders Hardware, wrought iron padlocks and a series of "Ornamental Bronzed Iron Padlocks".  On February 25, 1879 Mr. Charles Beebe of Norwich, Conn. was granted Design Patent No. 11,041 for an ornamental padlock like one illustrated in the 1883 catalog.  Some of these locks have shown up in various collections but have probably not been correctly identified to the manufacturer.  The usual attempt is to associate them with Russell and Erwin which can now be proven as incorrect.

A special "Thank You" to Brother Jon Kolozvary of the American Lock Collectors Association for supplying the above photos and catalog information on these beautiful Masonic Story Locks.

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