I don’t know how I failed to see this when I first extracted this lock from the bedroom door some months ago to successfully fix it so the door would actually latch for as long as Susan had owned the house, but when she notified me that the lock began not latching again last night I made a note to haul it back out of the door again today and have another look-see, which I did just a few minutes ago, diagnosing the problem as a slipped spring.

Look, see?

lock2.jpg

click to triplify

Pretty old school, eh? I had no idea.

In my moderate Mr- Fixitness I realigned the spring as I had done the first time around, but this time in an attempt to prevent it from slipping in the future I applied a small piece of electrical tape to the coil’s base where it seats against the back of the lock’s box.

I can never say “lock” and “box” together without thinking of Al Gore.

Not that the tape will definitively keep the spring from slipping again, but it can’t hurt. And soon afterward I was replacing the panel I had removed to gain access to the mechanism’s guts, Flipping it over to the other side about to put it back in the door, that’s when I found this stamp (photographed through an 8x lupe on macro in really bad light so sorry for the crap quality):

 lock.jpg

Don’t know how I missed it the first time around, but what it says is:

RUSSELL & ERWIN
MFG. CO.
NEW BRITAIN
CONN. U.S.A.
PAT. JAN, 29, 89.
JUNE, 11, 89.

No, not 18 years ago. Subtract another century to the same year that Vincent Van Gogh painted “Landscape with Cypress Tree” and a guy by the name of Eiffel designed a tower for Paris and Mark Twain published “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” and Adolph Hitler was born and that sucks so let me mention that astronomer E.P. Hubble was born too.

And so was this lock on June 11. 1889.