Friday, July 17, 2009

Dr. Jackson's Latch

The Doctor’s Office has been under repair and has a new exhibit on the role of country Doctors in the 19th century. Part of the refurbishment included hardware for the back door. The Fields Blacksmith shop made the Suffolk latch. This style of latch is part of the hardware tradition that was brought to America by immigrants from many nations. Throughout most of the 19th century this style of latch was common from Maine to Pennsylvania. Regional differences were common, as the hardware in a town was influenced by the Blacksmiths of German, Irish, English, or other backgrounds that lived there.
We also produced a sliding bolt to secure the door from the inside. This bolt is simple but requires both blacksmithing and whitesmithing to create. The bolt is secured to the backing plate with two collars. The collars are riveted to the back plate using square tenons. This method involves forging and filing tenons, punching and filing the mortises. This is a simple but effective method to create the housing for the bolt.

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