Mortise locks in the Sullivan House

LincLinc OwnerDetroit Icrontian
edited April 2013 in Community
We're in need of 6 replacement lock sets in the Sullivan House. They are called:

"The Junior" Vulcan Locks (Cycloid Knob Action)

Yale & Towne Mfg Co
Sole Makers of
The Yale Locks
Stamford, Conn USA

and were apparently produced in 1898. From photos I've seen online, they all appear to be the same make. They have a rounder, slimmer shape with the knob hole closer to the edge than in any other mortise locks I've ever seen. We had an entire bin of mortise locks in the house - none match. Nor do any of the hundreds at the antique store on Third. The Architectural Salvage Warehouse is temporarily closed so I haven't been there, but it seems extremely unlikely they'll have any at this point. As mortise locks go, I got the kooky rare ones.

I currently see one for $15 on Ebay. Beyond that, I haven't been able to find any. If anyone comes across such a thing, I'd be highly interested in getting them. I'm not keen to butcher my original wooden doors to fit a bulkier lock.

These were exclusively used on interior doors, as far as I can tell.


Again, the defining characteristics that distinguish it, even at a glance, are the proximity of the knob and keyholes to the edge, and the roundness of the corners.


  • AnnesAnnes Tripped Up by Libidos and Hubris Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    Could you post some pictures, measurements and the ebay link? I can start checking places around here.
  • RyanFodderRyanFodder Detroit, MI Icrontian
    Would a blacksmith have made them custom at the time?
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    There's a few antique shops around here that have old knobs and locks from gutted historical houses. I'll check.
  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth Icrontian
    I love that they're called Vulcan locks.
  • JBoogalooJBoogaloo This too shall pass... Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    Yeah, what Anne said. I'll check in Boston and my buddy in Maine to see if we can find any.
  • LincLinc Owner Detroit Icrontian
    Added manufacturer & photos to the OP. Thanks!
  • LincLinc Owner Detroit Icrontian

    Would a blacksmith have made them custom at the time?

    No, they were mass produced. I updated with the company info above.

  • AnnesAnnes Tripped Up by Libidos and Hubris Alexandria, VA Icrontian
  • LincLinc Owner Detroit Icrontian
    Annes said:
    No, notice on mine the distance from the knob to the top is less than the size of the knob opening. It's unusually narrow.

  • LincLinc Owner Detroit Icrontian

    usable, any of them?

    No, same issue: the distance from the top to the knob on mine is about half the normal.
  • Take a look at the 6th picture here and let me know if that is what you are looking for:
  • JBoogalooJBoogaloo This too shall pass... Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    Im not sure if these are close (c. 1910, but could be earlier). If not, they're local and I'll call them in the morning to see if they have your exact model and if they can send pics.
  • LincLinc Owner Detroit Icrontian
    @PirateNinja Nice :p Actually that page is really confusing. It's all the markings of my locks, but way fancier looking, the back edge looks deeper, and there's no flat faceplate. For $60 w/ shipping it's probably not worth the risk of trying it when I'm not confident about it. Thanks though. :)

    @JBoogaloo Nope, the knob is equidistant from both edges on those. Pretty sure this requires a brand match, unfortunately.
  • RyderRyder Kalamazoo, Mi Icrontian
    @Lincoln the ones the @JBoogaloo showed you may work. What you need is a measurement inside the door of where it fits. As long as the keyhole and knob are the same distance apart (to match the holes in the door) then extra material inside the door is irrelevant unless the lock fits exactly in the cavity in the door. Follow?
  • KwitkoKwitko Sheriff of Banning (Retired) By the thing near the stuff Icrontian
    Silly question. Did you call Yale and ask them?
  • LincLinc Owner Detroit Icrontian
    troll said:

    Do the six you have now not work? They can be cleaned up and repaired quite easily.

    2 are not the same model and don't fit correctly, 2 are missing, and 2 are broken. I may try repairing the two I have.

    I found a third, but it's rusted to hell. I actually found a fourth working one, which I installed on Perry's door, so I'm down to needing five now.

  • LincLinc Owner Detroit Icrontian

    2 of these were on eBay last month and I missed it. :angry:

  • LincLinc Owner Detroit Icrontian

    And another today! This one with plates & knob. Hell yeah.

  • LincLinc Owner Detroit Icrontian
    edited November 2015

    Achievement unlocked: all quest items retrieved.

    Still need a pocket door latch and maybe 1 exterior door latch, but they are very different and I haven't pull any apart to figure out what I need yet.

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