Linus YALE Elvira YALE Chlotilda YALE John Brooks YALE Madeline YALE Julian L. YALE Catherine BROOKS Merron H. YALE Chlotida HOPSON Mini tree diagram

Linus YALE

4th Apr 1821 - 25th Dec 1868

Life History

4th Apr 1821

Born in Salisbury, Herkimer, New York, USA

14th Sep 1844

Married Catherine BROOKS

26th Oct 1845

Birth of son John Brooks YALE in Newport, Herkimer, New York, USA

25th Sep 1847

Birth of daughter Madeline YALE in Newport, Herkimer, New York, USA

26th Mar 1850

Birth of son Julian L. YALE in Newport, Herkimer, New York, USA

25th Dec 1868

Died in New York, NY


  • <IMG SRC="yw1864.jpg" align=left>     Biography of Linus Yale, Jr.Linus Yale Jr., of Newport, Herkimer Co., N. Y., was married September14, 1844, to Catharine Brooks, who was horn in 1818, at New Fane,Vermont. She died March 22, 1900, at Deerfield, Mass. The greaterportion of the honor of making the family name Yale, prominent andwell known throughout the world, belongs to two men, Gov. Elihu Yale,for whom Yale University was named, and Linus Yale Jr., the inventorof the "Yale Lock." Previously numerous inventions had been broughtout and perfected by his father, Linus Yale Sr., and himself,pertaining to bank locks; but it was the invention of the separatecylinder, pin tumbler, revolving plug lock, with the small flat~ key,which so completely revolutionized the lock business of the time, andmade the Yale lock so popular and universally known and accepted asthe standard. This great invention was made and perfected in 1860 to1864, and U. S. patents covering same, were issued to Mr. Yale,January 29, 1861, and June 27, 1865. Proper credit is due his fatherLinus Yale Sr., for the original inventions, 1840-1847, of the firstlocks, to which the name "Yale" was given, by an admiring and gratefulpublic; but as indicated, it was the lock invented later by Linus YaleJr., with the small flat key, for general service, which obtained andheld such world wide popularity, and made the name famous, andsynonymous of the highest standard of excellence, wherever locks areused. Mr. Yale possessed a finely poised artistic and mechanicaltemperament. He was well educated and in his earlier life, was aportrait painter of much ability, and among his productions in thisline, was an excellent oil portrait of his father, which is possessedby his daughter, Mrs. Madeline Yale Wynne. He nearly always had apencil in his hand, with which he sketched as he talked; sometimes itwould be a sketch of a head or some bit of picturesque scenery, andagain of some invention. One evening in the winter, after hismarriage, he sat drawing, and finally he passed a slip of paper overto his wife saying, "There Kate, on this paper lies our fortune." Itwas a drawing of the first lock that he Invented. He was an artist inmechanics, as well as in drawing and painting; that is, he took anartistic pleasure in the perfection of any mechanical process in whichbe might be engaged. He was never too busy to stop by a workman'sbench and show him a better way to accomplish some delicate mechanicaltask. His artistic tendencies were also in evidence in his diversionsfor pleasure; he was a devoted angler, and his ardor in this sport,seemed to be partly fed by the joy he experienced in making a red ortying a fly, and it has been said by other votaries of the sport, thatto see him cast a fly, gave the same pleasure that comes to one inhearing a violin solo by a master, so fine was his sense of balance,of distance and motion. He was born at Salisbury, N. Y., April 4,1821, and after completing his education, began his career as aportrait painter; but his mechanical inclinations induced him about1849, to join his father in the lock business, at Newport, N. Y. LinusYale Sr., was at that time operating a bank lock factory, in the stonebuilding now known as the "Old Yale Lock Factory," the ruins of whichare still standing. The earlier efforts of Linus Jr., in this field,were in connection with bank safes and locks, and were so original andsuccessful, that he came to be recognized as the leading Americanexpert and authority in such matters. As such, lie was employed asconsulting engineer, by many of the banks and bankers of the day, todesign their more important safes and locks, and his inventions inthis connection were numerous, and involved many diverse types, ofmost ingenious and complicated construction. The combination lock, asnow used, was then unknown, and all of his earlier inventions relatedto locks operated by keys; but great security was obtained, by makingthe "bit" of the key changeable at will and also detachable from thehandle, so when the latter was rotated in the lock, the "bit" wasdetached and carried away from the keyhole, to a remote part of thelock, and there brought into contact with the tumblers, to set them inposition to permit the bolt to move; the continued rotation of thehandle, then operating the bolt and returning the "bit" to thekey-hole for removal. The famous "lock controversy" which arose inEngland during the "World's Fair" of 1851, when the American, Mr.Hobbs, succeeded in picking the best English bank locks, had itsaftermath in similar contest, between American bank lock makers. Beingdrawn into this controversy, Mr Yale, first discovered how to pick thecelebrated Day & Newell, "Parautoptic Bank Lock," known in England asthe "Hobbs" lock, and it has been said he picked it with a pine stick;but soon after-wards he found out how to pick his own best bank lock,known as the "Double Treasury," and ended, by demonstrating that anylock having a key hole, could be successfully attacked, by one havingthe necessary skill and implements. Ultimately he turned his attentionto the combination or "dial" lock, which in crude form had been knownfor centuries, and brought it to such perfection that, before hisdeath it had displaced nearly all other bank locks; and in the manyyears which have since elapsed, the "dial" lock has been in universaluse in America, for safes and vaults; and although produced in manyforms and by numerous makers, it retains to-day, the essentialcharacteristics given it by Linus Yale Jr. Notwithstanding the greatimportance and ingenuity of the bank lock inventions, as beforestated, the invention of the lock with the small "flat key," in1860-1864, was the epoch making event of his life. This inventionultimately completely revolutionized the art of lock making inAmerica, and contributed greatly to place this country in the superiorposition which it occupies, far in advance of all other countries, inlock making. It consisted of the following essential details ofconstruction and methods. 1 In placing the key mechanism in a separate"cylinder," inserted in the face of the door, and connected with thebolt case, behind. 2. In combining the ancient Egyptian "pintumblers," with a revolving "plug" containing the key- way. 3. Incombining, with the revolving "plug," a flat key, of convenient formand of uniform size for all sizes and kinds of locks, in place of heround key previously in universal use. 4. In the adoption of astandard of design and workmanship for key locks for general use,equal to that previously employed only in bank locks. 5. In adoptinghigh-class machine tools, to obtain the higher standard of workmanshipthus established. 6. In packing each lock in a separate paper box,complete with all necessary trimmings and screws, thus initiating apractice now almost universal. Prior to these inventions andimprovements, the round key locks were in universal use and were ofcrude and bulky form, affording only indifferent security, and ofinferior workmanship. Although, as has been stated, Linus Yale Jr.,began his career in the art of lock making, with his father, he someyears later embarked in the business independently, and about the year1855, moved to Philadelphia, where he was very successful; but about1861 or 1862, he again moved, to Shelburne Falls, Mass;, where thelocks were manufactured by the firm of Yale & Greenleaf. The chiefproducts at the latter place, were bank locks, however the fiat keyedcylinder lock, with pin tumblers, was manufactured in a small way. Inthe summer of 1868, Mr. Yale and Mr. Henry R. Towne, then ofPhiladelphia, a thoroughly trained mechanical engineer, who wasseeking a permanent business connection, were introduced to each otherby a mutual friend, and after some months of negotiation, apartnership was formed between them, by which Mr. Yale agreed tocontribute his existing business, patents and inventive skill, and Mr.Towne agreed to provide additional capital and to organize and managethe manufact uring department. It can be stated, that, although Mr.Yale's business was chiefly making bank locks, Mr. Towne was attractedby a conviction, which he then formed, that the newly invented"cylinder," was the foundation for a large business, if properlyexploited. This partnership was organized in October 1868, incorporate form, under the name, :'The Yale Lock ManufacturingCompany," and was located at Stamford, Conn., thirty-four miles fromthe City of New York; this point being carefully selected, ascombining the advantages of the skilled labor of New England, withclose proximity to the metropolis of the country. A suitable sitehaving been selected and purchased, Mr. Towne went to Stamford, todesign and erect the modest factory building which was proposed. Mr.Yale continuing to conduct the business at Shelburne Falls, pendingits removal to the new location. On December 25, 1868, the newlyorganized business met with a great misfortune, in the sudden death ofMr. Yale, of heart disease, on 3 that date, in the City of New York,where he had been unexpectedly detained, in consultation over plansfor the vaults of the Equitable Building, then under construction. Hewas aged 47 years, 8 months and 21 days, at the time of his death. In1869, Mr. Towne succeeded to the presidency of the company, and inlater years (1883), owing to the enlarged and diversified line ofproducts, the name was changed to, The Yale & Towne ManufacturingCompany. The business was removed to the new factory at Stamford andstarted up, in March, 1869, with about thirty employees; a salesroombeing simultaneously established, at No.1 Barclay St., New York City.At that time bank locks were the chief products, however the new pin-tumbler, cylinder lock now universally known as the "Yale Lock," wasalso made in seven varieties. Several new varieties were added in thenext few years and the system of "Yale Locks" for U. S. post officelock boxes, was rapidly developed, from a lock box which Mr. Yale haddesigned for the post office in Boston, Mass., just previous to hisdeath. The rapid adoption of the Yale Lock Box, in post offices in allparts of the country, helped greatly to call public attention to themerits of the "Yale Lock," with its diminutive key. The designing andbuilding of complete post office equipment soon became an establisheddepartment of the business, the line of bank locks was remodeled andenlarged and the growth of the business was such that, one hundred andfifty people were employed in 1872. In 1873 bronze hardware was addedto the business and in this field the company finally became therecognized leader. In 1875, the Weston Differential Pulley Blockdevice, was added to the line, and a little later "cranes" of allkinds and sizes. These latter lines were developed into extensiveproportions, but in 1894, were disposed of, to the Brown HoistingMachinery Company, of Cleveland, Ohio; the chain block business beingretained at Stamford. In 1882, the A. H. Emery testing machines andheavy scales, were taken up, but this business was also disposed of in1887, to Wm. Sellers & Co., of Philadelphia, Penn. Returning to thenarrative of the lock industry, it is in order to state that, inresponse to a demand for a bank lock, unsusceptible to manipulation,the Yale Time Lock was invented, and has since come into almostuniversal use in the leading banks. In 1878 the business of twosmaller competitors, was acquired, The United States Lock Co., and TheAmerican Lock Co., and the production of padlocks was taken up  Thenumber of employees had been increased by this time, to about threehundred. Branch offices had been established in Philadelphia andBoston, and in 1880, one was opened in Chicago. Additions to theStamford plant were made almost annually, those of 1881 and 1883 beingquite important. About 1882, the company began to Cater extensively tothe public demand for artistic, high grade, ornamental hardware, andthe artistic treatment of iron for this work, was taken upsuccessfully. In 1891 the number of employees had increased to 900,and a complete line of cabinet and trunk locks was added to theproducts. The year 1894 brought the addition of lines of the cheaperand medium grades of builders hardware and locks, which came to beamong the most important products. Door checks were added to the linesof products in 1895. During the years 1900 and 1901, extensiveimprovements and additions were begun and made for the Stamford Works,and the manufacturing heretofore carried on at Branford, was moved toStamford. These improvements and consolidations, make the StamfordWorks, the largest and best equipped of the kind in the world, with acapacity for the employment of over 3000 persons, and occupying atract of over 15 acres of land, with direct rail and salt waterconnections. Much credit is due Mr. Henry R. Towne and his associates,for the world wide popularity of the name "Yale" as associated withlocks, as it was through their splendid business judgement andindomitable energy, that the great growth of the business was madepossible, after the decease of the inventor. -From "The Yales andWales" by Rodney Horace Yale, 1908.     <BR clear=all>

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