A quick post to say I have the twin of the Hill and Hodges to convert to the new piston design, some Earls from the Belgrade Theatre to service and repair along with some 600's and some single action Gibbons I have serviced, repaired and converted to hold open for the Crucible Theatre.
Please feel free to make positive comment.
The single action version of the "King Victor" is known as the "Queen Victor" using only a single action volute spring.
The "King Victor" Patent Floor Spring Hinge interestingly uses two volute springs in its design and is one of Robert Adams larger floor springs.
Volute springs are conical in shape and are designed to compress in a shorter distance than perhaps a conventional coil spring would.
The door closer may be far older than you first thought and have had more of an impact on our daily lives than ever could have been imagined, when looking back to prehistory devices to close all manner of "doors" have probably been around since the very first doors were "invented." They may have been developed from devices and simple spring mechanisms to close access to a trap of some sort. A little later perhaps when our nomadic life style came to an end and we began to trap and rear animals for food, labour and transport these mechanisms may have been scaled up to automatically close gates once animals had been driven into a fenced area for instance, closing off their route of escape.
We simply may never know the exact route by which the very earliest or first door closing devices were invented and I suspect the door closer in some way shape or form has been invented and reinvented over and over throughout history.
Arguably not as an important a discovery as fire, when fully considered you may agree however they deserve far more recognition than they have ever previously received and could well be in the top 100 of all time most important mechanical devices ever invented, behind the wheel or the lever but nearly equal of the lock, affecting our daily lives in ways you may have never even thought, achieving the rare position of being practically indispensable and yet to all intents and purpose invisible to all but the most inquisitive of us.
This 'modern' door closer industry can be said to have begun in England on a Tuesday in the summer of 1786, for it was on Tuesday June 13th in 1786, that a linen draper of Cheapside, London, Francis Moore, was awarded the first English patent for a device to close doors, which consisted of weights, a line and pulleys. This was followed four years later by Henry Downers 1790 patent that used a spring to overcome the weight of the door to return it to the closed position.
Patents are of course important they do not however reflect the entire door closer story as not all inventions are patented. Ironmongers were selling door springs up and down the country around the time of Moore and Downers patents were granted.
Edward Morris Ironmonger Northampton Mercury 1773
Edward Morris Ironmonger Northampton Mercury 1794
John Sibbald Smith and Ironmonger Caledonian Mercury 1794
To be continued...
Just a quick post about another of Hill and Hodges fantastic range of "hinges." I recently worked on Hill & Hodges Patent Hydraulic Check Action Floor Spring Hinge for the Quaker House in Bournville (I am please to say they want another modifying) and tonight I will introduce you to its brother The Windsor.
As you can see there are slight differences to the one I worked on, the circular collar for one, it being at the pivot end rather than at the furthest point away from the pivot, also appearing slightly smaller but no less robust in its design and construction. You will also note they made a heel spring The "WONDER" which I have yet to come across.
As always please leave a comment.
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.