Back Page, July 2013

June 5, 2013


ALOA held its 1993 convention in Chicago. Jerry Levine reported on Eclipse access control systems by PCSC.  ISM safe company offered suggestions on how to choose the correct high-security safe.  Jerome Andrews addressed cross-keying in a master key system.  Milt Wolferseder opened a small Major fire safe in 15 minutes.  Dianna Davis offered ways to promote retail sales in your shop.  Jerry Levine reported on the Dalax Hardware Cross Reference by Laurie Simon. A Ledger article showed the installation of a TheftGuard ignition protector which has been outmoded now by transponder security.  Jerry Levine reported on the Omnilock 50 single door access control lock.  Our Irish friend, Steve Guard, explained the VW Security Safe system.  A Bulldog gate lock installation by GTO Inc. was featured.  Jackson power-assist door closer technology was explained by GM Peter Mantarakis.  Breck Camp, CML, provided a historical background of ALOA.  Hugh Curry showed how to anchor safes for greater security.  Ron Johnston gave us the details of how he opened a locked safe in the Texas heat.  A special article feature showed how to service GM pickup truck door locks.  T.C. Mickley visited DeWind Locksmiths in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  Jerry Levine explained the art of key reading.  Merritt Perkins offered ideas on decoding tubular keys.


Dale Bowman presented a historical background of past and present Medeco high security lock systems.  Tim O’Leary introduced some new smart add-on security products.  Stephen Fish wrote about the Ilco SDD programmer.  Dick Brandon explained the T-Code programmer which was sold through Auto Security Products in 2003.  Gale Johnson described how a locksmith company solved a threshold problem with Pemko thresholds. Tim O’Leary checked out an Ilco Simplex 5000 lever lock.  Jerry Levine installed a Norton Powermatic 6900 series automatic door closer.  Tim Oleary also provided information on Trine electric strikes.  Tom Gillespie gave examples of how to best utilize your locksmith shop space.  Special sections on A1 Security, Dynalock, Jet Hardware, Kaba Access, Kaba-Ilco, Lucky Line, Pro-Lok, Markar and OSI gave readers a better understanding of these fine companies. Rod Oden explained how large national accounts use IC core lock systems.  Jeff Trepanier wrote a basic course on cam lock ABCs.  Jeff Trepanier also introduced readers to the locks being used on imported mopeds.  Steve Kaufman had an excellent interview with the late Hank Printz.


He was the right man at the time.  During his teenage years Aaron Fish helped support his family by selling key blanks to hardware stores in Montreal.  The story of how Aaron Fish moved from delivering key blanks by bicycle to worldwide ownership of many famous companies in the security field is narrated in a new book titled "Under Lock & Key," the Unican story. 

This book will be interesting reading for anyone involved in the lock business. Names like Keil, Lockwood, Independent Lock Co. (ILCO), Simplex, Star, Sagar, Dominion, Dynation, Taylor, Orion, CEA, Precision Products, AWI, Marlock, Relhor, Curtis, Silca, HK, Lori, Mas-Hamilton, Mauer and Axxess Technologies are familiar to everyone in the lock business, and which Aaron Fish acquired during his career.  Add to this the names of countless other businesses associated with the security field such as Techmire, Diston plus Meriden Rolling Mills (MRM) and you get a feeling for the important role Aaron Fish played during his 50+ years at the helm of what came to be known as Unican.  

'Self-made man' correctly fits Aaron Fish. His path to success was long, arduous, and never boring. Every interesting detail is explained in his book.  Each chapter in the book details a short period of years.  Chapters dedicated to the time from 1949 to 1980 read like an exciting novel and show Mr. Fish as he is bent on success but also juggling the constant pressures of financing his ventures and maintaining cash flow. 

Aaron Fish succeeded by finding a need and developing a product to meet that need. As example there was once a request for an identity card which required an internal power source. He purchased a company which was developing a type of miniature battery.  The identity card idea was eventually dropped but the miniature batteries are now used in hearing aids.  

Aaron Fish sold Unican to Kaba Holdings in 2001. In the book epilogue, Fish wrote, "..its not speed that kills, but it's the sudden stop".  He does not plan to stop any time soon. Aaron and his wife have created the Aaron and Wally Fish Family Foundation to provide scholarships to mechanical engineering students who are attending college either in Montreal or Israel.

For information on ordering this book, contact: A.M. Fish Holdings Ltd., 26 Briardale Road, Hampstead, Quebec H3X 3N6, Canada. Phone: 514-788-0788