Posted 5 months ago
A few months ago I posted an old jail door I "saved from the melting pot".
This is what I did with it.
I have a collection of handcuffs and restraints that Smith & Wesson was involved in either manufacturing, had patents on or both, from 1915 to present day manufacturing.
On October 4, 1911, George A. Carney applied for a patent on a handcuff design that used a swing-through, self locking system that was a new conception in restraints and eventually became the new standard for the handcuff industry. His patent, No. 1,017,995, was granted on Feb. 20, 1912. George Carney sold this patent to James Milton Gill, who was the police commissioner of Springfield, Massachusetts. Mr. Gill set up The Peerless Handcuff Company on June 22, 1914. Mr. Gill did not have the manufacturing experience, the facility, or the machinery to launch his new business and acquired handcuff design, but he had a close friend who did, Joseph Wesson of the Smith & Wesson gun manufacturing company also in Springfield, Mass.
The locking mechanism on the Carney patent was not adequate to securely hold a subject in custody without him being able to easily escape, so Joseph Wesson designed a new looking system to be used on the new swing-through handcuff design by George Carney. This patent, No. 1,161,562 was granted to Joseph Wesson on November 23, 1915. This began the relationship of Smith & Wesson manufacturing handcuffs for James Gill and The Peerless Handcuff Company until November of 1940, when Smith & Wesson had to cease the handcuff manufacturing to concentrate on gun manufacturing for WWII.
In 1952 Smith & Wesson designed and started manufacturing handcuffs under their name and company logo, first in their Springfield, Mass. plant until 1979 when they moved their handcuff manufacturing to their Houlton, Maine plant, where they currently manufacture their handcuff & restraint line.
I constructed a portable 8' wide by 12' long, by 8' high jail cell, using my 100 year old jail door, to display my handcuff, belly chain & lead chain collection in. I just returned home from a convention in Kansas City, Mo. where I set up this display. The photos above are in the KCI Convention Center. There are around 100 different Models and variations of Peerless & S&W handcuffs & restraints from 1915 until present day in this display.
Thanks for looking and reading my long explanation,
It is going to take me some time to catch-up on all the post I have missed the past couple of weeks.