Stanmore Springs Ltd were continually improving their product, beginning with the Coronet and ending with the Earl. In its final guise as the Earl this floor spring could be adjusted both from side to side and front to back by means of a capstan. This capstan was threaded directly into the cast case and pressed upon the inner surface of the box that was concreted into the ground.
There were two versions of the Earl, the 778 and the 777, the difference between the two were the number of coils on the springs. The less coils the weaker the door spring (lighter doors) the more coils the stronger the door spring (heavier doors). The Earl 778 was the more powerful of the two versions.
The improvements that culminated in the Earl are attributed to Robert Douglas Derek Smith of Stanmore springs Ltd. The final patent was granted on the 21st of July 1971.
As I have discussed in previous blog entries identifying the make and model of a floor spring can be extremely difficult due to architectural firms stamping their own names on the cover plates and manufacturers differently branding essentially the same product albeit with extremely minor changes.
Take for instance the Marquess floor spring manufactured by Stanmore Springs Ltd, this floor spring is identical to the Coronet and as discussed the Newman's 700. The Marquess was branded as such not because of any difference in the floor spring itself but in the way it was able to be laterally adjusted. Stanmore Springs supplied the floor spring without an adjustable shoe because its lateral adjustment could be altered by a floating bar attached to the outer box used to concrete it into the floor. It was this difference and this difference only that made a Coronet into a Marquess.
The picture below could therefore either be a Coronet or a Marquess, without knowing whether it was originally supplied with either an adjustable shoe or an adjustable outer box there is simply no way to tell.
Above picture is either a Marquess or Coronet invented by Edward Frederick Seddon.
This floor spring is in fact a Newman's 700, the 700 and the Coronet (from previous blog post) are identical apart from the Newman has 700 stamped on the box, as can be clearly seen in the picture above and below.
In the next few blogs I will introduce you to the Marquess and the Earl (Earl 778).
To add to the confusion of identifying floor springs bought about by architectural and suppliers stamping their own names on the cover plates is the fact that manufacturers also had different names for the same floor spring.
Here is an example of a floor spring known as a Coronet when manufactured by Stanmore Springs Ltd. The same floor spring however is known as a 700 if it was manufactured by Newmans' as can be seen in the next blog post.
Below is an old advert from Allgood Holborn showing the 'Avon' floor spring.
And here is the real thing, a NOS Avon floor spring with its cardboard protective cover removed for viewing purposes.
The Avon was manufactured by William Newman & Sons Ltd, Hospital Street Birmingham. There were four different types manufactured.
The one above is the double action without check, they also produced a double action with a pneumatic check, a single action (shallow box) with a pneumatic check and finally a single action in a very shallow box with two pneumatic checks side by side.
View of top plate.
In my previous blog entry I introduced you to the Smith & Turner floor spring, I will now show you the door spring Ben Turner produced under his own name.
This door spring uses the torsional force of a helical spring in it configuration and was manufactured at 2 Bartholomew Close, London. The earliest reference to a Ben Turner floor spring I have found was from an advertisement dated 1858.
A picture I found of a top plate being used as a decorative item.
With top plate removed.
The patent of Benjamin Turners floor spring.
Angled shot to give an idea of length of coil spring (about 10 inches). I have previously refurbished a Ben Turner on a very heavy bank door with a spring that was over 24 inches in length.
The Smith's in the picture is a mid Victorian era floor spring that uses the action of the cam wheel to push the horseshoe shaped springs apart, making for an extremely reliable and durable mechanism.
The Smith's company can be traced to 1770 when Mr Smith set up a small engineering company on the back of his invention for a door closing device at 69 Princes St, London.
This door spring was continually improved upon, coming in many guises, eventually branded as the Janus Patent Door Closer. In 1878 production of the 'JANUS' moved to a new factory in Battersea known as the Janus works.
1892 Advertisement for the Patent Adjustable 'Janus' Door Springs (Ad also shows the Patent Battersea Door Spring & Patent Hydraulic Spring and Check.
Archibald Smith had numerous inventions to his name and numerous business partners to market and produce his inventions, including involvement with The Express Lift Company (OTIS at this time) for which he invented the V pulley and the forerunner to the car lift (Smith, Major & Stevens).
This next floor spring is known as a Gibbons, it was invented by Paul E Gibbons and was sold by James Gibbons Format Ltd. It went through a series of slight changes mainly centred around adaptations to the way it could be adjusted. In its final guise it had the capability to be adjusted both transversely and longitudinally by means of the external screw adjustment fixed to the front of the casing.
This is a picture of single action NOS Gibbons floor spring including cement box.
This is a Gibbons double action floor spring without the adjustment screw.
In the final photograph of the Gibbons you can clearly see the adjustment screws which make this floor spring extremely easy to set up once the pin height has been set.
The patent for the Gibbons was applied for in 1955 and was granted in 1958.
This is the cover plate to a Meteor floor spring that I was called out to.
The Meteor had a broken spring set. The pieces of which were trapping the check/pivot so the door would not open past the 20 degree mark.
The broken Meteor was replaced from our stock.
The lovely mahogany doors leading into the Buxton Opera House are now back on and functioning correctly.
This model floor spring was part of William Newman & Sons Briton range and is called a Meteor. The Meteor was rather a late edition to its door closer range considering the Briton line was first brought out in 1907.
This floor spring came after the Monarch and the 400, the main difference from both these floor springs is that the Meteor has an external transverse adjustment which can be seen in the picture as an integral part of the case at the opposite end from the pin. The pin is the same shape and size as that found on both the Monarch and the 400.
As there is so little information out there with regard to door closers, especially vintage and antique model floor springs, I thought I would start this blog.