A quick post to show you what I believe to be the earliest Smiths I have yet come across as you can see it is has a different top plate and it appears configuration. The decor plate clearly reads number 203 in the top picture.
In this blog post I would like to reproduce a letter to the editor of the Building News and Engineering Journal (1919), it is self explanatory so I will say no more.
A CENTENARIAN DOOR-SPRING.
To the Editor of The Building News and Engineering Journal. Some years ago we brought to your notice a remarkable example of the length of life of an old door-spring made by Mr. William Smith, of 69, Princes Street, Leicester Square, to whom we are the direct successors. In that case, you may remember, a customer wrote to ask us to supply some new parts tor a pair of springs which had been swinging his shop doors for over fifty years. Our object in reminding you of this is that we have recently had brought to our notice an even more remarkable example of the longevity of the patent "Janus" door- springs.
One of the leading builders in London has been engaged upon some alterations to an old house in one of the squares, and found there a spring made by William Smith and Co. still in use. From the manufacturing number stamped upon it, it is evident that this spring was made long before the other pair, and has, we judge, been working for upwards of 100 years, and, so far as it is possible to say, the original parts had not been renewed, excepting only, perhaps, the coil spring itself. The spring is now at our works, and we should be pleased to show it to anyone who may be interested. We have no hesitation in asserting that this constitutes a record in door-spring life, which must be unique, and your kindly interest in the earlier case has prompted us to inform you of this one.
Yours faithfully, For Smith, Major and Stevens, Ltd.,
Percy C. Major, Director. Abbey Works, Northampton.
Please feel free to comment as always
These are top centres we were asked to produce which will ultimately end up pivoting the 12ft high bronze entrance doors for the BBC's Broadcasting House, as you can see the original was very badly worn.
Please feel free to comment as usual.
I am currently working on ten Robert Adams Sceptre 21's from inner entrance doors to flats in Hampsted, as you can see from the pictures below they are in quite a bad way. Interestingly there are two different variations of the Sceptres in the same building on the same doors as you will see as work progresses.
As you can see the cams are badly worn and will have to be replaced, which then causes problems further along because these were hand finished and the squares filed to fit the recess in each shoe.
Nearly ready to refit.
Work to the guides of the adjustable top centres is also required.
As I have spent a little time of late talking about Smiths door springs I thought I would share with you a quick post in regard to Smiths direct competitor in or around the 1870's, that being Douglas Mole and his Double-Action Spring Hinge.
As you can see Douglas Moles Spring hinge was very similar to Archibald Smiths and may have been one of the reasons (among others) that Smith felt need to advertise the "caution" from the previous post especially as he had made similar improvements to the original Andrew Smith design for adjusting purposes, as spoken about in a previous post.
As always I hope you have enjoyed this post and again as always feel free to comment.
Here's a quick post and caution regarding Smith's door springs copied below from an article/advert from The Mechanics Magazine and Journal of Engineering, Agricultural Machinery, Manufacturers, and Shipbuilding magazine 1859. It is self explanatory so will leave it here for you to enjoy.
TO ARCHITECTS AND BUILDERS.—In consequence of numerous complaints, tho Patentee begs to inform the above, that all genuine SMITH'S PATENT DOOR SPRINGS, for Swing Doors, are stamped with Name and Address, thus--Smith, Patentee, 69 Princes Street, Leicester.Square, London; and that Springs thus marked arc warranted. SMITH'S PATENT WEATHERTIGHT CASEMENT FASTENING AND SILL-BARS arc admitted by all to be the most perfect invention for the purpose. Diagrams and List of Prices on application.
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.