Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS1855686 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 26, 1932
Filing dateAug 7, 1929
Priority dateAug 7, 1929
Publication numberUS 1855686 A, US 1855686A, US-A-1855686, US1855686 A, US1855686A
InventorsNeal Elmer E
Original AssigneePeerless Handcuff Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lock mechanism
US 1855686 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 26, 1932. L 1,855,686




.Application-fi1ed-A11gust7, 1929. SeriaLNo, 384,006.

'5 used by officers of thelaw in'bin ding 'prisom ers. -In some of its aspects itmaybe used as a padlock or forlimprovements in locking means generally. ll he invention'willbe described'in the form of ahandculf and its application tothumb .cufiis, leg irons, and

' the locked positionof the" parts.

other uses will be apparent.

i The frame work of'the 'cuit'in the form chosen for purposes 'ofillustration is made up of two spaced, parallel semiecirculararms, between which at one'endalsingle semi-circular arm, curve'dfin the opposite direction, is pivoted. This arrangement makes up a bracelet. The two'parallel arms have "a lock casing with lock mechanism between: thein'at 2:29 theends opposite from thepivot and at'the corresponding endthe single arnr'has-means engageable' by a; part ofthe lock mechanism. The'latter'is operable and may be set'tol'et the single armun'ove in a :complete circle in I either direction on its pivot,or in only one direction, or locked to prevent *all movement betweenthe arms. These conditions of the cuff setting may be considered as completely unlocked, set for snapping'oirthe wrist or single locked, and 3 double or completely locked. The first-condition is used forjreleasing the prisoner, the second conditionfor maintaining'the mechanism in condition'to lock on the prisoner until hiswristis'actually within'the b aceletarms when the'mechanism is "locked with the aid of the'wrist', and the third condition for doubly securing Theparticul'ar purpose of the present invention is to provide locking, mean s i ini'elation to any one or all o fthe'desired condi tions of mechanism'of thekindfstated' which locking means is sturdy, efficient, economical in the'space required, and whiclrcairbe'inanufactured soas towork well even when the,

parts are -Worn to a very consider-"able extent. In other words-the parts menses-mm posi tioned with adegree o ftolerance which enables them to work right=withoutrequiring any considerable precision 'either in their originalmanufacture or initlie maintenance I of the parts asthey wear. This feature is of particular importance in devices of this character'because if anoiiieer finds his arresting V irons are not working right, it is usually $5 atthe critical time of making anfarrest. These mechanisms are not easy to nraintai i in service because they 1 are subject to rough usage and are scattered in their distribution allover the country. -After on'celbeingsold, they are hardly ever ,usedor testedfby'fanyone who understands the actual detail-mechanism involved. .To avoid many diificultie's due to these conditions, the ;present invenbly such as embodies my inveutioni'infone Fig. 1 isa plan view of a 'handc'ufi'assemi- .tion has beenrdevi'sed, Other featuresjaridf commercial form and in full "commercial size; 7

Fig. 21s aruu sized view of the upper ncufl shown with'one of the .para1lel-'arnis, 7

which carry the lock casing, removed 'to *expose the inside oi the flock casing with the lockin means in place as itwould bewh en single'locked about a normal wrist;

Fig. 3 is a detail view of the locking'pawl; F ig. 41s a detail viewof the lockingfbolt; Fig. 5 is a detail view of-the bolt spring; Fig. 6 is a detail view of the bolt-pusher? Fig.7 isadetailview ofthe'key; 1 Fig. 8 is a detail view of -theantrpic king device; S p Fig. 9 is an end view ofthe lock 'casing a s seen'fromtherightin Fig. 1;:and f Fig.1l0 isa detail view of one ofthe filler pieces forming a part ofthe'lock casing--the one to the right in Fig. 2. I v

Thelock casing as shown, is made upof i two filler pieces 1 and 2 which are riveted tp andbetween the ends otparallelarms ire-l d between the filler blocks 11and'2 and is pro- .a function in mounting the locking bolt which will be pointed out later. v

The arrangement for the lock casing shown has the advantage of providing a shallow re- "cess'bounded' by the filler pieces 1 and Q- as end andbottom walls, and the slightly spread outer ends of arms 3 and 4: as side walls. This recess is longer than it is deep, and with its outside dimensions following the general curvature of the arms which carry and help to make up the casing. This is important in avoiding an objectionable bulge outwardly from the bracelet arnisas it is found in the commercial forms of handcuffs in general use today. And one of the principal features'of my invention is to provide a lock mechanism of eminently suitable construction in such a shallow lock casing to perform Well in any or all of the ways desired which will be pointed out. f V The mechanism shown mounted in the lock casing may be inserted through the opening in theupper wall. The bolt pusher 8 in the fo mer a headed pin is inserted from the inside (when the locking arm isout of the way) to lie in theholethrough the end wall of filler piece at the right, and with the head within the casing. Then the H-shaped bolt member 9 is inserted horizontally to lie down between the top, bottom, and end walls of the right hand filler piece 2, Fig. 2,.in line with the'boltpusher. At the same time the U- shaped'bolt spring 11 is carried into place, being mounted loosely (except for its own resiliency). on the upper right hand leg of the bolt member 9. The upperleg of the spring 11 at the endabuts ashoulder stop in the under face of the top wall of filler pieceQ,

a as indicated in the assembled. view. The

curved endiof the spring abuts the end wall of'the filler piece 2. The lower free end of the spring has a cam curve or bead portion tosnap in one or the other of the recesses 12 Hand13 on the underside of the upper right hand-leg of theH-shaped bolt. With the spring and bolt in this position, it is clear that when the bolt pusher pin is moved to the left from without the casing, the bolt may be moved to the left and until the spring end snaps in recess 13. The key moves the bolt in the other direction, as-will be described. The pin15 is inserted across the side casing walls after the bolt is slipped in. This pin 15" is positioned to stop any over-throw ofthe bolt to the left and the end wall stops it to the 1"igllt. The spring puts a sufhcient drag on the bolt to prevent a 1arring movement from the positions indicated by notches 12 and 1-3' and so that it'will notmove exceptwhen the pusher bar or key operates it, no matter how roughly the handcuff is used.

With the bolt in place as described, the coiled pawl spring 16 is inserted in its recess as shown; pawl member 17 is dropped in from the top; and then its pivot pin 18 inserted to properly position the pawl in place. Then the anti-picking device 19 is dropped in and its pivot in 20 inserted in a similar manner to the pawl assembly.

It will be noted that the lock mechanism is assembled in its casing from the open top and after the casing walls have been assembled and thatthe pins 15, 1S, and 20 are inserted to extend between the side walls of the casing after the walls have been assembled.

My plan is to permanently rivet the parallel arms 3 and 4 and the filler pieces 1 and 2 together to form the lock casing by the rivet pins indicated, to rivet the locking arm 21 between arms 3 and 4 for pivotal movement at the end opposite the lock casing and then to finish the cuff as bynickel, chro .miumor other fine finish, so that the rivet otherwise finished. The ends of such pins .may be finished,.(asf by plating) apart from the lock casing, and their fit may be a driv ing fit with the lock casing and one to avoid marring the finish and they need not be riveted, but their ends are preferably flush with the outsidesurface of the side walls. As I will explain in the operation of the lock mechanism, it cannot be unlocked, even in the very unusual case where a prisoner might succeed inv removing one of the pins 15, 18, and 20, which are held in place by a driving fit. For this reason, these finished pins may be put in after the outside of the lock casing has been completed and polished and the whole lock casing and mechanism may be assembled'with itsmechanism at the desired time. This I believe to be of considerable advantage in the proper manufacturing operations of such a cuff.

The teeth on theouter rim of locking arm 21 are made V-shaped and areshown syminetrlcal to-cooperate with the single symmetrical tooth pawl 17. The arrangement shown. is such that when the pawl lies between the teeth of the'locking arm the thrust of an'unlocking .orclockwise movement of the arm 21 is directlynormal to the pivot pin 18,- and this line passes through the body portion ofthe pawl 17 andthe body portion ,of the arm 21. Thisimakes for an exceedingly strongconstruction independently of the strength of the pawl tooth or the teeth on the locking arm and it gives strength even when such teeth are badly worn. The coiled pawl or ratchet spring normally holds 'the :iii)


single tooth of the ;pawl in zpositionitorsuccessively. engage the-teeth 0f the arm as ithe latter moves in' one direction, which sis :counterclockwi-se as shown, :and :to prevent all strength or desired operatiOnofthe parts.

The latter feature -may be stated: as 1 a provision for greater tolerance'in thef-making, assembling. and the wear-of the parts without disturbing any desired function for such parts. 'f

The anti-picking device :19 "ispivoted to cooperate with the teeth of theilockingiarm like an escapement rocker. Thatis, the engagement with the ratchetteethiby one end of'the rocker, cams.the other .end-intoengagement with the teeth=iand vice *vers ayso that the arm with its vratchet teeth mayreadily moveby this anti-picking device 19in either direction without binding on it. But'if a thin spring or other lock picking-instrument is slipped between the ratchet teeth @of the locking arm 21 and its adjacent filler piece '1, in an attempt to getat therpawl'l 'i to'release that.- such-lock pickingrinstrumentcannot possibly get by the anti-'picking'device. for both ends of the latter cannot=beroutvof contact'with the locking arm'teethr-atrthe same time to let such an instrument passr'by. face, such an instrument would "itself :rock device 19 in-suchazway as to .bindiitiagainst full insertion'to reachthepawh:

The key, as shown in Fig. 'Z,'is inserted through the hole at-the 'centerof'the casing andthe key has anextended shankcr'fa'pin 61 reaching to a 'bearing in aihole f62iin that face of the lockcasing opposite toithe one with the ordinary keyhole. Byturningthe key, its radial wing 63 'maymuhagainst the lower'arm-fi l ofthe pawl lever 517. i

This 64L 7 normally extends at :an angle from the bottom oftheloek casin q'or filler piece 1. sufficiently to permit thef'lowerleg 65-01" the bolt'to iuiderliethe -arm, and in this position absolutely prevent any 1niovement of thepawl arm until the boltis moved back to the right. Only'inthe latter-position ean'the key swing'the'pawl to unlocked position. The engagement is such, .between he key and pawl, that a camming iwipe of almost 909' is poss'ihlewhile onl-yabout half of suchiang'le is normally necessary :in the movementto un'lockithe pawl. "lVl1en tl1e'-kcy ewingis turned way down, the :pawhwith its spring action to return acts through arm 64. to hold the .=key in'full unlocked positionr Qrl to .put it in another way. :':the key wing 1 has the proper=engage1nent with the pawl cam 211111264 to holdthe'pawl unlockedwhen the key is invzplace and turned way down. This is an advantage because in unlocking'the oflicer wants to-vi'nsertthekey and .have the .key hold the: pawl :outroflocking positionsafter it is turned'and without 1 continual hand [pressure on the ;ke Then when the key is removed, the officer wants to have :the pawlreset itselfand tlie .mechanism arranged automatically and ready for the next prisoner locking operation. The parts are arranged for these. functions. The mere removal of the key will reset .the lock mcchanism without other :attention by the v efiicer. After hehas unlocked .one prisoner, the :handculf isallready for the nextone;

Thevkey can wearrand the pawlzmember can wear-to a substantial extent without :in. anyway "affecting the desired operation of the, parts, since substantially less than a (movement i-sasufiicient to unlock the pawl from engagement with arm 21. These parts do notneedto befitted or gmai-ntained with any particular degree of precision and.

this iseof agreat assistance, both in making and :in nnaintaining the muff. :for the desired operations. Y The same general arrangement ismade-witlrrcspect to thekeyand the keyoperatedpart of-the:bolt. Thatis, a bread I :(ftllll action {is provided to give plenty of tolerance :nnderlthe Wearof those parts:

The belt member is moved to the leftby applying.lthe 'shank Jor pin extension 61 of the key;-and;pushiig onztheuend of the bolt pushe r-8 'inhole 30st the side of the wout; and rfron i without the casing, or 'a match endamight be :used for this purpose. The

keyfiisanot necessary. lVith :the pawl :al-

ready in locked-position, such movement of the bolt extends its lower inner arm 65 in positicn to underlie lthealower cam-arm -64; of rthelpawl. To :avoid any necessity for 1 )recision inunakin the casin walls for very. vccuratc sliding operations ofthe bolt,

provide the following features. 1 The bolt arm-.65 meets the pawl arm with a cam actlOIl'. This forces the bolt downwardly against-the-top of (the head 7 -of .the chain swivel v5. The head 7 has ;.a:shoulder resting on the-lock casing. By dressing offthe top of this head :7 the parts, :can' jbef-readily fitted and the bolt can be made to' slide ac- 'curately linto underlying :posi n'to block the pawl and therecess fit of .the ho'lt with the lock: casin mayherrathcr loose and free, which :isxdesirable :to ravoid friction and ex} penser wane afdrag on the bolt :movement is desirable zit aisbetter "not ftoxha-ve it supplied by frictien fduefto a"lo-se fit.- Instead I supply a spring to give the desired drag, and this avoids the necessity for accurate workmanship and at the same time gives a better control on the bolt, as well as avoiding any freezing of the bolt in one-place between desired operations.

When the bolt is. moved to double lock the arms it is quite clear that if one tries to pick the lock he will be battled to a most unusual degree. It would first be necessary for him to movethe bolt to the right. To do this, he must find an instrument that will enter the key hole, reach over the outer end of the ripper left-hand bolt arm 66, and exert a backward pressure with very little leverage permitted in the distance from the key hole to the bolt end. This is exceeding 1 difiicult wit-h any other instrument than the key, which has a bearing in the key hole to provide for. an effective twisting movementto apply the unlocking force as a component of the twisting force. A bendable Wire will not be sufiicient. In addition to moving the bolt back, it is necessary to release the ratchet pawl, and there is very little leverage for this purpose and what there is must be applied after reaching in from the key hole at right angles to its axisand moving opposite to the bolt unlocking movement.

The bolt is cut away or skeletonized into H-shaped form, made of light weight and held by its drag spring 11 to prevent jarring it from one position to another. The spring and its cam or bead recesses may be made strong enough and at such positions as to hold the bolt against such jarring movements. 7 r

It is quite clear that no picking instrument, slipped between the teeth of the lockingarm and the uppershelf of the filler piece 2,

can release the pawlprim'arily becausethe reach from that end is from the wrong direction. It is also clear that the anti-picking device 19 will prevent picking from the other end. r

' To prevent any springing apart movement of the arms when in locked position, I preferably provide a circular groove and one that is open ended, in each side face of the locking arm, asshown. On each of the inside faces of the side plates of the lock cas-' ing, I provide a projection 72 (shown dotted in Fig.2) which I locate just above the pawl 17 and with a shoulder to overlie the outer shoulder of the groove 71 in arm 21. This is conveniently done by riveting a headed pin to the casing wallat this point and with the head cut away enough to make a fairly close but frictionless fit with the groove. This enables .meltoconveniently provide a projection72 from the lock'casing to mate with the groove and one which will not permit any real movement between: thearms to pull them apart at the critical point where the pawl. engages the locking arm. These pins may be made up with slightly varying dimensions and the one with the right dimensions to fit a particular "cuff and prevent any substantial play in the parts chosenfrom the lot that gives the best fit. This arrangement avoids the obligation of filing down parts in the final assembly of the cuff, to make a good fit at this critical point.

It is not so good, or so convenient, to have such a projection located elsewhere on the lock casing than where I have shown it, or

to provide such a projection as an integral part of the lock casing Walls. The latter requires a degree of fine workmanship that is not always attained and it is expensive. My headed pin for this purpose is located by its hole just above the pawl and it is easy to make theuhead to substantially fill the groove by doing the work before assembling. It should 'be understood that one of these headed pins is preferably located on each side of the lock casing to substantially fill a groove on each side of the locking arm, which filling is coextensive with the teeth engaged by the pawl as they pass the critical point. hen the pawl locks, any prying movement to separte the'teeth from the pawl is met by two shoulders provided by parts 7 2 abutting the two shoulders of the grooves 71 and im mediately in line with the attempted movcmentg'but nowhere else. This makes a simple way to further safeguard the lock mechanism with great accuracy, but due to the design rather than the workmanship of the lock fitter.

From the foregoing description, it is clear that I have provided cooperating locking arms with a simple, effective lock mechanism that requires very little space, no objectionable precision work in its manufacture or maintenance under wear, and one which has many other advantages to be seen from its description and use. For example, when used as a handcuff the V-shaped teeth will not catch in the pocket (aserious matter when an oflicer wants to act quickly and without bungling). The lock casing does not bulge out from the cuff enough to detract from-the general circular shape of the brace-' anism is thatfora'ny or all of my purposes the improved mechanism can be made by ordinary workmen and yet will work as well when newas a lock mechanism made by the most skilled workmen available, and when estates" worn to a considerable degree will still work just as well, whereas a mechanism that depends upon the high degree of workmanshi for its proper operation will ordinarily fail when worn. In other words, the design of my present mechanism wipes out many of the difficulties and much of the expense heretofore met with in devices of this character. The scope of my invention is found from the annexed claims.

What I claim is:

1. In a device for the purpose described, a shallow lock casing having a key hole, a pivoted ratchet lever located between one end of the lock casing and the key hole, a bolt located between the other end of the lock casing and the key hole, said ratchet lever and bolt each having a fork-shaped end providing two prongs adjacent the key hole, said prongs being all arranged to extend in a direction generally parallel to the bottom of the shallow lock casing, one prong of the bolt being proportioned to move into and out of position between the bottom of the lock casing and one prong of the ratchet lever to block or permit movement of thelatter, the other prong of the bolt being positioned for a key engagement to move the bolt from the key hole, one prong of the ratchet lever being formed for engagement with the teeth of a ratchet and the other prong being formed for a wiping cam engagement with a key on one side and for said bolt engagement on the other side.

2. A handcuff comprising relatively rotatable bracelet arms pivoted and arranged for complete rotation and a lock mechanism adapted to permit said rotation onlyin one direction until a wrist or the like is embraced and locked, one of said bracelet arms having extending from its free end a series of symmetrical ratchet teeth on its periphery, said lock mechanism having a casing carried at the free end of that bracelet arm, means complementing the peripherally toothed arm to form the handcuff, and a spring pressed ratchet pawl pivoted in said casing so that a line from its pivot point to any point on the back side of one of the symmetrical ratchet teeth on the toothed arm and engaged by the pawl will be normal to the tooth surface and the pawl engaging surface.

3. A handcuff of the kind described having a lock mechanism comprising an elongated shallow lock casinpwith a centrally arranged key hole and on one side of the key hole a centrally pivoted rocker arm with a symmetrical ratchet-engaging tooth at each end adapted to rock the lever as a ratchet passes the lock mechanism, and a pivoted spring pressed ratchet pawl having two prongs on the same side of its pivot, one for engaging ratchet teeth and the other lyin adjacent the key hole for cam engagement with a key, and on the other side of said key hole a bolt having a key engaging portion adjacent the key hole 4'; A lock for liandcul'l's'or thelikecom prising, a casing-having a keyhole,-a"ratclret pawl-at one side a'nd a bolt' at the other side or the 5 key hole along "the length of the casing with their adjacent ends close to the key hole; the ratchet pawl havingone'prorrg 'for tooth' engagement-With a ratchet and another prong slightly below "the; former and on the same side ofythe} key hole and for key and 'b'o-lt engagem'ent to unlock and'double lock the ratchet, the 'bolt having a part for engagement by a key and slightly below that apartto move between the bottom ofthe casing and the low: or latchjp'rong j 5. A handcuifor the like compris'ingftwo relativelypivoted arm members, one having a lockmechanismincluding a ratchet "pawl and the other having ratchet teeth'to-be -engaged bythe pawl for locking; cooperating shoulders on'said arms, the shoulder means on the toothed arm beingcoextensive with the'teeth and on an are from the pivot-of the arms, the shoulder means on the *other arm being relatively short and locateda djai centflthe point where'the latch and teeth en:

gage, said last named shoulder-means being formed separately asa headed pin 'v'vith'one" side of the headflattenedto form the 'short shoulder and then located and rivetedfto the side of the lock casing 'adjac'entsaid points 6.'A handcu fi including two oppositely arranged semi-circularj arms -with on'e pair of ends pivoted together, a series or sym metrical -"arranged teeth extending back:

wardly' towards the pivot from the I free end of one arm overa-n arc struc kfromsaid pivot point, a "sh-allow lock'casing eXtendingbaek Wardly towardsthe pivot from the free end of the other arm, the length of the lock-m ing on one arm being approximately the same asthe extent of the'teeth-onj theotheri arm and arranged so'that -'when theyjoverlap, the pivoted arms-are symmetrical, with p the shallow lock casing all lying {closely ':-to' the circumference of the overlapped arms, a spring pressed pawl pivoted in said' lock casing, saidlock casing having a shoulder-ste in line with} the pawl pivot and the point of engagement between said pawl and a tooth Series of peripherally arranged teeth extending backwardly toward the pivot point from on thepivoted arm, said pawl being engageable with said shoulder stop and with the .free end of one arm on an arc struck from said pivot point, an elongated shallow lock casing depending from the circle of said toothed are but not on the same member and having closed'end and bottom walls, the easing extending generally along anarc struck from the same pivot point, said casing having a depth approximately equal to the general width of the arm members, said toothed arm being adapted to removably form a closed top wall for the lock casing, the extent ,of said toothed are being approximately equal to the arc-shaped length of said lock casing, lock mechanism including a pivoted spring pressed pawl in said casing with a tooth to engage successive teeth of said series for a ratchet lock, each successive engage ment of the pawl on the back side of the teeth being flat and in a plane normal to the line between the pivot of thepawl and such engagement.

- 8. A handcuff comprising pivoted bracelet arms, locking means including teeth on thefree end of one arm and a lock casing with lock mechanism therein adjacent and carried by the end of the other arm, said lock mechanism including' mechanism comprising a small pivoted lever with ends adapted to be alternately engaged and the lever rocked by the passage of the said teeth on the first mentioned arm whereby the latter will have one end or the other of said lever in constant engagement with the teeth thereon to prevent lock picking operations, said J lever being located in the lock casing next to the entrance for the first mentioned arm as it swings with respect to the other arm.

' 9. A handcufi comprising pivoted bracelet arms, locking means on the free end of one arm and a lock casing with lock mechanism therein adjacent and carried by the end of the other arm, said lock mechanism including a lever pivoted within the lock casing and having toothed ends alternately engageable by said locking means torock the lever and adapted to entrap the end of a lock-picking blade forced between the lock casing and the said free end.

. In testimony whereof I have affixed my signature.


m m s

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2570662 *May 17, 1950Oct 9, 1951Gray Samuel PHandcuff, leg iron, shackle and the like
US4509346 *Oct 13, 1983Apr 9, 1985Universal Tool Company, Inc.Handcuff lock construction
US6629440 *Sep 5, 2000Oct 7, 2003Master Lock CompanyAdjustable cable lock
US7870764Feb 1, 2008Jan 18, 2011Master Lock Company LlcCable lock with resettable combination
U.S. Classification70/16, D11/5
International ClassificationE05B75/00
Cooperative ClassificationE05B75/00
European ClassificationE05B75/00