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AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED, WITH DETAILED ILLUSTRATION ON THE FINAL PAGE, BY THE FAMED INVENTOR OF THE YALE LOCK, FROM SHELBURNE, MASS., FEBRUARY 24, 1868, TO JEROME WELLS, PRESIDENT OF THE CHICOPEE SAVINGS BANK, IN WHICH THE ENTHUSIASTIC, KNOWLEDGEABLE, AND SELF-CONFIDENT ENTREPRENEUR DESCRIBES THE BANK'S DEFECTIVE SYSTEM OF LOCKS, EXPLAINS HOW HE WOULD ELIMINATE THOSE DEFECTS, AND ILLUSTRATES HIS PROPOSED PLAN.
8" x 9.75", unlined sheet folded to 4.8" x 8". [4] pp. Completely in ink manuscript. Neat old folds. Page [4] is an illustration, neatly hand- drawn, of Yale's proposed door and lock mechanism with notations concerning materials, thickness, and design. Near Fine. The Letter reads: "DEAR SIR - SINCE I WAS IN YOUR BANK THE OTHER DAY I HAVE THOUGHT OF YOUR OLD FASHIONED VAULT ARRANGEMENTS & FASTENINGS AND I WANT TO SAY TO YOU THAT I THINK I CAN MAKE IT PLAIN TO YOU THAT YOU OUGHT TO HAVE SOMETHING BETTER. I DON'T WANT YOU TO ATTRIBUTE IT TO DISINTERESTED NOTIONS ENTIRELY - IT IS MY BUSINESS TO FIND WHERE I CAN BE OF USE AND MAKE A LITTLE PROFIT MYSELF, AND I MUST SAY YOU ARE A GOOD SUBJECT. "I AM PUTTING SAFES AND DOORS INTO MANY COUNTRY BANKS WHEN THEIR FASTENINGS ARE ALREADY MUCH SUPERIOR TO YOURS - YOURS ARE VERY MUCH BEHIND THE AGE: WHICH MEANS MORE THAN SAYING YOUR COAT IS OUT OF FASHION [underlined in original]. I EXPLAINED ONE WEAKNESS TO YOU WHICH I DO NOT WISH YOU TO MAKE USE OF EXCEPT IN GUARDING YOURSELF AGAINST AS IT IS SOMETHING ENTIRELY OVERLOOKED BY MY COMPETITORS AND IT IS MY [I HOPE PARDONABLE] INTENTION TO LET THEM REMAIN IN IGNORANCE - AS I LOOK AT IT YOU WANT A SET OF DOORS TO YOUR VAULT WITH A MODERN LOCK AND A SMALL BURGLAR PROOF CHEST INSIDE YOUR PRESENT SAFE LARGE ENOUGH ONLY TO HOLD YOUR 'CONVERTIBLES' - "THE NEW DOORS AND LOCK TO THE VAULT WOULD HAVE A GOOD MORAL EFFECT WHICH I NEED NOT ENLARGE UPON THE IMPORTANCE OF TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WHO LIVE IN THE SAME BUILDING - YOU HAVE UNDOUBTEDLY CONSIDERED HOW EXPOSED YOU ARE BY HAVING SUCH AN EASILY DEMOLISHED STRUCTURE TEMPTING THE PROWLING FRATERNITY WHO ALWAYS SEE EXACTLY WHAT THEY HAVE GOT TO DO TO GET AT THE MONEY. "I WILL DELIVER ON THE CARS IN NEW YORK A SET OF DOORS CONSTRUCTED IN THE MANNER INDICATED IN THE ACCOMPANYING SKETCH WITH A DOUBLE DIAL LOCK/ BRONZE/ FOR $675.00 AND SUPERINTEND PUTTING THIS UP. "I WILL MAKE YOU A FRANKLINITE CHEST UNDER MY THREE PATENTS SAY 24 IN HIGH 18 IN WIDE AND 16 IN DEEP 2 IN THICK WITH A DOUBLE DIAL LOCK ON FOR $687.00 OR BOTH FOR SAY. I CAN HONESTLY SAY MY WORK HAS ALL THE GOOD POINTS FOUND IN THE BEST MAKERS AND SEVERAL THAT ARE ENTIRELY NEW TO THE WORLD AND AS YET UNAPPRECIATED BY MY COMPETITORS. I HAVE SPENT SIXTEEN YEARS IN THIS LINE AND LED THE WAY IN ALL THE IMPORTANT IMPROVEMENTS IN THAT TIME. I 'BLOW MY OWN HORN' KNOWING HOW MUCH STRAIN IT WILL BEAR WITHOUT INJURY ALTHOUGH IT MAY NOT BE VERY MUSICAL. "HOPING TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON ON THIS SUBJECT I AM VERY RESPECTFULLY YOURS, LINUS YALE, JR." Linus Yale, Jr. [1821-1868] invented the famous Yale Cylinder Lock, based on ancient Egyptian mechanisms and perfected by Yale, a distant relative of Elihu Yale, the founder of Yale University. The Yale lock, "the world's favorite lock," is touted on the Yale Lock website as "one of the oldest international brands in the world and probably the best- known name in the locking industry." Yale joined his father's business, the Yale Lock Shop in Newport, New York, in 1850. He perfected and patented his father's pin tumbler cylinder lock in 1861. By 1862 he introduced the Monitor Bank Lock, which transformed banks from key locks to dial or combination locks. He fine-tuned the cylinder lock with a second patent in 1865. He and Henry Robinson Towne formed the Yale Lock Manufacturing Company in Stamford, Connecticut. Materials and manufacturing practices have changed over the years, but the principle of Yale's design is mostly unchanged ["Our beginning - the history of Yale," accessed at the web site of Yale Lock]. Jerome Wells [1813-1880 ] was the first president of the Chicopee Savings Bank, organized in 1854, and served as such until 1874. [Everts: HISTORY OF THE CONNECTICUT VALLEY IN MASSACHUSETTS... VOL. II. Philadelphia: 1879. Pages 965, 976-980.]
      [Bookseller: David M. Lesser, Fine Antiquarian Books ]
Last Found On: 2016-06-06           Check availability:      Biblio    

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