Posted 6 years ago
I have at times wondered what I should do with the things I have collected. Most sit on shelves; some are still in boxes from when I moved three years ago. I know that some collectors acquire things only to pack them away and never see them again. I’m just a little bit guilty of that too, but I do try to find purpose in collecting.
I have a reproduction of an old advertisement for four padlocks with a related theme. One day I saw one of the padlocks on Ebay. Thinking it would be cool to have one of those padlocks for real, I bid and bought. After a time, I began to wonder if I might find the other three padlocks in the ad as well. I eventually did and bought them all. Now, it was time to put them all together. I thought I’d get a frame for the ad and a shadowbox to put the framed ad and four padlocks in.
The four padlocks were made by Corbin Cabinet Lock Co. The smallest says “Mars” on it, the next one says “Pluto” on it, then there’s the one that says “Orion” and the biggest one naturally is “Jupiter”. Three planets and a constellation.
These types of locks are usually referred to as “Poorman Story Locks”. A story padlock is a certain kind of padlock that usually carries a pretty high value. Some can be worth a few hundred bucks, some a couple thousand bucks. A poorman story padlock, on the other hand, is usually much lower quality and carries a much lower value. They can be valued at perhaps twenty or thirty dollars, but often five to ten dollars depending on which one it is, or its condition.
The first picture is of the shadowbox hanging on the wall above my desk at home. Because of the glass, I had to take the picture at an angle to minimize glare. So I took it down and got a picture of it on the floor without the glass. That’s the second picture. It doesn’t look as deep in that picture because the glass doesn’t come out. I had to lay the box glass side down on the floor and turn the back over to get the picture. The third picture is actually four close-up pictures of each padlock put together.
I also have a similar padlock with “Venus” on it, but that one isn’t round and isn’t in the ad anyway. But I did buy it because of these others.
I’ve since bought some actual pages out of 100 or so year old hardware catalogs. One day I hope to find all the padlocks on at least one of the pages (I’ve got four pages to work on) and do the same thing with them.