Illinois Time Lock

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by sderek, Dec 17, 2012.

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  1. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    I'm not exactly sure why I bought this, but I saw it at a chapter meeting on Saturday, and decided it had to come home with me.
    IMG_9128a.JPG IMG_9129a.JPG

    Our local bank still has time locks on their antique (there are service papers from the 1930's) walk-in vault, but the timepieces look to have been replaced in the 60's or 70's.
     
  2. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    I have seen these, i think they are pretty neat and most watch collectors would like them.
     
  3. richiec

    richiec Registered User
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    That is a nice one. I have one made by Seth Thomas, not nearly as nice as that Illinois. It was marketed by Yale and Towne Lock Co.
     
  4. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    I'd love to see some pictures.
     
  5. richiec

    richiec Registered User
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    OK, here are some pictures, it appears to be a 9 jewel movement.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. richiec

    richiec Registered User
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    On a side note, the Wells Fargo bank I use has these movements in their safe still today, a trio of manual movements that they wind each night before closing the safe. Unfortunately, can't take pictures of them. And I have no idea where the Sheraden bank was.
     
  7. richiec

    richiec Registered User
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    Doing some searching, maybe Pittsburgh, Pa.
     
  8. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    I think you were just being modest, lol.
    That's a pretty sharp looking piece of machinery.
     
  9. richiec

    richiec Registered User
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    Last time I was in the bank, I think the service rep got a little nervous because I knew about the time lock. I sat and stared at the three movements ticking away but they are redundant so if one fails, one of the others will open the lock.
     
  10. Fred Hansen

    Fred Hansen Registered User
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    Cool pieces here and I've also seen Elgin, South Bend, Howard, and Waltham time locks. Any other makers besides these produce them?
     
  11. Brad Maisto

    Brad Maisto Registered User
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    Derek,
    I too have one of these "Vault-Locks" and mine looks very similar to yours. I found one 15 years ago and had to have it, and probably paid way too much, but you just don't see these every day. The serial number on my 15-jewel Illinois movement is 2,710,043. I would be very interested to know if anyone has any instructions on how to take one of these apart? As you can see the one I have has some specks on the inside of the glass crystal covering the 18S Illinois movement. These must have one strong mainspring that does not require much movement in order for it to run the number of hours it is set too. These are the pictures of mine:
    IL.Time.Lock.1.jpg IL.Time.lock.2.jpg IL.Time.Lock.3.jpg IL.Time.Lock.4.jpg
    Interesting Topic, Brad Maisto, Indiana Chapter 18 President
     
  12. richiec

    richiec Registered User
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    Nice winding key, Brad. I wonder if the crank from my Welch clock would fit my time lock. I would think the spring has to be strong as I believe it also activates the arm that releases the lock. Mine runs like a top but of course, for most of their lives they were housed in a nearly air tight box with glass covering them so they were not subjected to the elements and were probably cleaned more often because if they failed, you couldn't get into the safe. I got to watch the asst manager wind the movements once. Brad, I like the fact that yours has most of the movement as part of the mechanism while the others only used the escapements. About how old is the movement?
     
  13. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    #13 sderek, Dec 18, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
    Very nice, Brad. I got out my flashlight and found the serial number. It's 3185126, so mine dates to 1917.
     
  14. sderek

    sderek Registered User
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    I visited Larry Krayer last week and he showed me a complete 4-unit Howard timelock. I hope he sees this post and shows us some pictures!
     
  15. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Forums Administrator
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    The attached photos are of a Duplex Electric bank alarm system from my collection. It is driven by one of these Illinois movements, which you can see near the center of the control panel. It also uses a Seth Thomas #10 clock movement to time the duration of the alarm.

    VaultTimer.jpg MovementBack.jpg TimerMovement2.jpg Mainspring.jpg
     
  16. Brad Maisto

    Brad Maisto Registered User
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    Dave,
    If you don't mind me asking, it looks as if you have "torn-down" one of your bank-vault time-locks, do you mind sharing instructions on how you accomplished this task? In your picture number two of the Illinois movement, are we to assume that in the place where a normal movements mainspring is located, in the time-lock movement it is simply a gear to transfer the power from where the time-lock mainspring is located?
    Thanks in Advance, Brad Maisto, Indiana Chapter 18 President
     
  17. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Forums Administrator
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    Hi Brad,
    It's been a few years since I worked on this one, so I don't remember exactly how it came apart. Yes, the normal mainspring barrel is replaced by a gear which is driven by the larger mainspring barrel located below the movement.
     
  18. m12

    m12 Registered User

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    Is it possible for a relative novice to work on these older movements or do you need a lot of experience to even attempt it?
     
  19. darrahg

    darrahg Moderator
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    #19 darrahg, Aug 2, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
    Brad, they are fairly easy to take apart but will not try and explain it to you. I will instead give you these references that should be helpful in that regard. Look for David A. Christianson's articles in Horological Times. Two good ones are Mosler Time Lock Movements part 1, pp 48-51 in Sept 1989 and Resetting An Overwinid, pp 18-21 in June 1992. These should get you going as most timers a constructed in a similar manner.


    Note: I might add that letting the main spring down is critical, as always, but is a simple process. Remove three of the four screw on the raised area on the back. Then, holding the timer is such a way so that you can grasp it and put resistance on the raised area as this will rotate when the forth screw is removed. The spring is very long and is not extremely powerful and you should be able to let down the spring by easing pressure with your gripping hand.
     

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