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I love this heart pad lock that was put on this fence. A collection has started, but this one is so beautiful. Looks like it needs a skeleton key to open it. I wonder if the gun manufacturer Winchester, is the same people that manufactured this heart lock. Maybe it is handmade? Anyways, a perfect image for a Valentine's Day Card..
Winchester Repeating Arms has gone through many 'phases' in its history. It started when Oliver Winchester invested heavily in the 'Smith and Wesson Company' and they renamed it 'Volcanic Repeating Arms Company'. Smith and Wesson went on with a couple of their patents to form the 'Smith and Wesson Revolver Company' that we know today. Volcanic was forced into bankruptcy by Winchester in what was an early version of today's 'hostile takeovers'. THEN he shrewdly takes all the patents and machine equipment and moves to New Haven, CT and forms the New Haven Arms Company in 1857.
Meanwhile, Winchester hires a guy named B. Tyler Henry as his plant superintendent. Henry plays around with the ammunition and lever action and .... bingo ... the world-famous Henry Repeating Rifle was born in 1860. Winchester continued tinkering with the design and the classic Winchester lever-action repeating rifle was born ... the Model 1866. The Model 1873 seven years later was famously called, 'The Gun That Won The West'.
After World War 1, there was far less demand for weapons and a depression was looming, so Winchester hired hardware companies to make things for them and they even opened a chain of retail stores. Your lock is part of that era in Winchester history when the sale of guns wouldn't make enough .. and they had to adapt. The cool thing is that are a whole bunch of different kinds of heart-shaped locks out there by many interesting companies in the same era. It was a very popular motif. (Some of this information was provided by a fellow FAA member Seth Shotwell, which was very much appreciated!) I had a hard time finding out information about these locks.
I know that I am sort of hooked on these locks now, and I am thinking this would be a great gift to give to a person (Probably a man, in this case) one of these for Valentine's Day. Maybe I should start a collection.. Yikes, another thing to collect!
January 14th, 2013
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