The Back Page, April 2011

March 4, 2011


Jerry Finch explained the system used to masterkey Corbin-Russwin master ring cylinders. Bill Reed commented on key blank numbering systems. T.C. Mickley wrote an article on Cutler Mailboxes. Cutler was later acquired by Auth-Florence. Jerry Levine discussed special hardware items such as astragals and door coordinators.  Locksmith Ledger sponsored "Seminars-At-Sea" with a cruise with locksmiths in Alaska. Ron Davis suggested entering the alarm field and the benefits of recurring monthly revenues. The April 1990 issue carried a famous letter from Aaron Fish on serious concerns about product liability. Secure USA formed a new company to import Viro locks from Italy. Robert Spargo introduced a Yale "Total Opening Concept" for locksmiths while Ultra Hardware introduced the "Ultra Jimmy" vertical bolt lock. Jim Taylor explained the details of his Precision Products line of safe locks. Pat Sullivan used his line of car opening tools to unlock several Lexus models. Where is he now? The 1989 average price list was announced and the average hourly rate was $40.33.  Ledger reported on a safe manipulation contest between Skip Eckert and Sal Schillizzi staged on the Letterman TV show. Sal won as he opened his safe in 3 minutes and 12 seconds.      


The April  2000 Locksmith Ledger issue was dedicated to the many fine distributors regularly serving the locksmith community. Wade Landrum explained the virtues of ADI distributors. Wade Landrum also discovered an new Nanolock made by Encrypta. Mike Groover showed us the IDN-West facilities in Los Angeles while locksmith Mike Ferrill visited the Stone & Berg offices in New England. Readers service card inquiry totals were used to choose the 20 top locksmith company picks for the year 2000. Topping the list was names such as Ilco Unican, Schlage, Master Lock, Strattec and Major Manufacturing. Jerry Levine found a Chrysler concept car at the Detroit Auto Show which used a driver fingerprint verification security system.  Still waiting for that one to go into production. Tom Appel tested the Pro-Lok mortising tool. Jerry Levine installed a ROFU electric strike on an outside gate. Charles Stephenson completed his series on Combination Lock Servicing. John Grist told of his interest in antique lock collecting and provided some addresses for more information about the hobby. .          


While masses of people waited in line at the Chicago Car Show to sit in every new car, this reporter was bent over at eye level with door handles to see what type of locks were being used. The truth is that a good percentage of the 2011 crop of cars do not have door lock cylinders, or at least the locks are not visible. As example, except for the VW Routan, all other VW models have hidden a door cylinder under a cap on the driver’s door handle. If the electronic locking system fails, the owner can pry off the door handle cap and use their emergency key to unlock the car.

Most experimental and 2012 model cars on display either had no visible lock cylinders or had a sidewinder lock system. The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and 2011 Fiat 500 all appeared to be using sidewinder lock systems. As interesting as the new models are, it was just as enjoyable to see a 1969 Camaro and a 1947 Tucker on display.