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.

Anonymous said...

I am a 'retired' Locksmith (now disabled); currently "house-bound", but still servicing vintage locks, especially padlocks. I still service Reese and Walsco padlocks.
Do You or anyone else know of older key-blank inventory? I am in need of a good quantity (50 - 100 count) of a particular padlock key blank; the ILCO # 1140G; TAYLOR # 140B. I have many dozen of the vintage US Set Military, as well as retired veterans who I service locks for; all use this keyway from the Old Waterbury Brass Locks.
I would be interested also in charts and codes for same; any info?

joe costa said...

When i served in the US Air Force the year was 1983 and being a Waterbury CT native i noticed a padlock on a maintenance shed on base that said Waterbury on it and i always wondered where and when that padlock was manufactured

WaldenModels said...

I'm trying to date an old Walsco combination lock. Is anyone aware of a guide, or dating method?