Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Vanished makes: Waterbury Lock and Specialty Company (Walsco), Milford, Connecticut

At one time, the city of Waterbury, Connecticut was known as the "Brass City" because so much of its industry involved this material.  (Noera oil cans were made there.)  The Waterbury Lock and Specialty Company (WALSCO) was founded in 1925 by Edward Peterson.  It moved from Waterbury to Milford in 1934.  In 1961, it acquired the Reese Padlock Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, which dates back to 1917.  John Peterson succeeded his father, and ran the company until the early 1970's when he retired and sold the firm.  After he died, one person remembered this story about John Peterson:  "John you were a great customer and even greater person-i remember when you chased me out of the dumpster when i was a kid looking for a lock for my bike-then you told me to wait and brought one out for me from the shop."

In addition to padlocks, the company made other products, including the famous Beattie Jet Lighters designed for lighting pipes.  These lighters were invented by Guy S. Barker in London, England in 1929, but improved by William E. Evans who worked for the Waterbury Lock and Specialty Company. He was granted a patent (2,242,906) in 1941.


Anonymous said...

I have old Walsco bicycle lock I thought I remembered from my childhood in the early '50's. Is that right, since you say they got a lock company in 1961?

Unknown said...

Yes. Grandpa started the company then dad took it over in the early 50s when Grandpa had a stroke. Not all the locks are stamped WALSCO but most are. Karen Peterson Stone.

Mister G said...

Thanks for your contribution! Good to get first hand information.