The timing of my fracture has also coincided with a customers request from quite a while ago to repair his Smiths using the bespoke sets of springs I had made up (see previous blog posts regarding these spring sets).
In 1866 the publication English Mechanic volume 2 has an advert for "Smith's Patent Door Spring" and on the same page has a further advert for "The Original Smith's Patent Door Spring." One business claims to be "established upwards of a century" and the other "established 50 years." English Mechanic - Volume 2, Issues 1-52 - Page 81
On the surface the advert claiming "The Original Smiths Patent Door Spring" would therefore lead readers to believe this is the older door spring, however within the advert it clearly states "established 50 years" taking its patent to around 1814.
The advert that does not use the word "original" but claims to be "established upwards of a century" I believe is therefore the company that should be considered as the maker/manufacturer of the original "Smiths" as it came first by around fifty years and leads to a date of around 1770.
We now have two approximate dates to work with, 1814 and 1770.
Dealing with the date of 1814 first:-
In the Patents For inventions Abridgments of Specifications relating to Hinges, Hinge Joints, and Door springs A.D. 1775 - 1866 printed in 1873 page 9 you will find this entry:
A.D. 1814, July 16.— N° 3822. SMITH, Joseph. —" Spring hinges for doors and gates." A brass shoe, fixed on the bottom of the door, has a centre pin or pivot which passes through a fixed brass plate and is stepped into a socket. A lever, carried by the pivot (the pivot lever) and fixed to it, is furnished with a collar (or brass roller) which is between two levers on two different but concentric fulcra. The upper lever is fixed to a spindle connected with the interior of a spiral spring ; the under lever has its fulcrum on a collar con- nected with the spring box of the said spring. A fixed angular piece, in which is inserted a screw, regulates the distance of the upper and under levers when they are at rest. This invention is adapted for doors that open either one or both ways; when the door opens to the right, the upper lever is forced back by the pivot lever, and " when opened to its extent, becomes light and easy in consequence of the spring having lost a great portion of its power, by means of the brass roller " <( having passed nearly to " the end " of the upper lever, thus, by the door opening, the pivot lever " obtains great power over the spring, and as the door *' closes, the spring regains its former strength." When the door is opened to the left, the pivot lever forces back the under lever, and the operation has the same effect as before described. A couple of toothed wheels, eccentrically pivoted, may be used instead of the upper and under levers. In fixing the door, an upper centre pin or pivot is fitted to the top of the door vertically over the pivot connected with the said brass shoe. [Printed, 6d. Drawing.]
In the London Metropolitan Archives Collections Index, Index to the Diocese of London Consistory Court Wills - Wills with surname beginning ‘S’ you will find reference to - Smith, Joseph
(Patent door spring maker) Dec 1829 Address: 50 Little Bartholomew Close
Place of Origin: Saint Bartholomew the Great, London
From 1829 to 1837-
In the Accounts and Papers volume 10 of the Railway Subscription Contracts we find, John Smith, 50 Bartholomew Close, Smith.
From 1837 - 1851-
Within the pages of The 1851 Official Catalogue of the Great Exhibition of the works of All Nations housed in the Crystal Palace you will find Smith. J (John?) 50 Bartholomew Close Prop, - Patent Spring Door hinge and a second entry mentioning a Swing Door hinge as can be seen below.
"970 Smith, J. 50 Bartholomew Close, Prop.--Patent swing spring door-hinge."
"970 Smith, J. 50 Bartholomew Close, Prop.--Patent swing spring hinge."
In the same catalogue you will also find reference to T. Turner
"T. Turner 33 East Street Marylebone Door Spring and centre for a door to swing both ways."
Was this the beginning of Smith & Turner, a meeting at the 1851 Great Exhibition?
From 1851 we then go to 1860.
In Blower's Architect's, Surveyor's, Engineer's and Builder's Directory we find the name of Henry Smith associated with 50 Bartholomew close (along with Smith, A 69 Princes Street, Soho, W.) advertising as Door Spring Makers.
And finally from 1860 to 1866 and the two 1866 advertisements on the same page that this blog entry began with.
"THE ORIGINAL SMITH'S PATENT DOOR SPRING. Pronounced by Government Inspectors and the late J. K. Brunel, Esq" C.E., to be the best and most complete. SMITH & TURNER, 50, BARTHOLOMEW Close, London, EC. ESTABLISHED FIFTY YEARS."
I hope readers have enjoyed this entry and feel free to post any comments.