|Headquarters||Canada & Australia|
|Founded||1878 in America & 1934 in Australia|
|Padlocks, Lock cylinders, Electronic locks,|
Lockwood is made up of two independent companies from America and Australia that originated from the same company founded by Henry S. Lockwood and Henry W. Lester in 1878. The "American" Lockwood company, with its affiliate companies, such as Gulfport Industries, is the main inventor, developer and manufacturer of all of the parts and components that are used in the manufacturing of hollow metal doors, frames, and related hardware. The "Australian" lock manufacturer produces low and medium security padlocks, lock cylinders, and electronic locks.
In 1878, the Lockwood brand was born when Henry Sanford Lockwood and Henry W. Lester established the Lester & Lockwood Company. The company changed its name to The Lockwood Manufacturing Company at some point, and at least as early as March 22, 1882, as the South Norwalk Sentinel announced that the Lockwood Manufacturing Company, a week prior, had received a letter from an interest in Madrid, Spain, requesting a catalog with prices of the goods available by Lockwood. Today, the “American” Lockwood recognizes its company's founding date as 1878.
Henry W. Lester was born in Clinton, CT, on November 10, 1830. He moved to Norwalk, CT in 1856 when the Norwalk Lock Company as a mold maker. Twelve years later, he went into business with Henry S. Lockwood for ten years. However, after becoming ill for three weeks, Lester died on the evening of March 20, 1888, at the age of 57.
General Nelson Taylor joined forces with Henry S. Lockwood, incorporating the business on May 22, 1888 (Special Acts and Resolutions of the State of Connecticut, vol. 10, shows that the Lockwood Manufacturing Co. received its certification for business on May 22, 1888). In 1889, they purchased the well-established Nashua Lock Company from Colonel Leonard W. Noyes (Lockwood: the story of its past, the basis for its future by Adon H. Brownell). However, according to an 1894 Lockwood catalog, the purchase was made in 1891.
January 16, 1894, at age of 72, General Nelson Taylor died, leaving Henry S. Lockwood to lead the company. A year later, Lockwood adopted a trademark, “Lockwood” stylized in cursive, that is still used today, along with a clover with an “L” at its center, introduced sometime during the turn of the century.
After 48 years of dedication to his company, Henry Sanford Lockwood (born June 18, 1850, in Tuckahoe, New York) died on February 5, 1926, at the age of 75 from an acute dilatation of the heart. He was the president, treasurer, and general manager of his company at the time of his death.
After the death of Henry S. Lockwood, the company steadily declined during the Great Depression. Morris Falk, leading the Independent Lock Company (ILCO), a company originally dedicated to supplying key blanks, absorbed the Lockwood Manufacturing Company in December of 1931 or January of 1932. They moved their headquarters from South Norwalk, Connecticut to Fitchburg, Massachusetts in order to accommodate the expansion of ILCO. The Lockwood Manufacturing Company was then reincorporated under the name of the Lockwood Hardware Manufacturing Company, becoming a division of ILCO.
Shortly after Lockwood was absorbed, John Stanley Ogden Sr. (previously relocated to Australia in the 1920s from Brooklyn, New York) acquired the license from ILCO to operate under the Lockwood brand in Australia run by his company, Ogden Industries Pty. Limited, founded in 1934.
A handbook created by the U.S. Department of Commerce for referencing information on economic, administrative, and legal developments affecting private, and foreign investments. Page 115 states that the letter “O” is designated to companies with patent, design, and trade licensing and other technological arrangements (Lockwood: From America to Australia). The American firm is named on the left column and the Australian associate on the column to the right. On page 119, we see that in 1955, Ogden Industries was still operating with a license to use the Lockwood brand from ILCO.
Dr. Edward Ogden, grandson of Ogden Sr., stated, “At the outbreak of the Second World War, the company started making war materiel and expanded into a new purpose-built factory to cope with the demand, but they cut corners to get it opened in such a hurry that the firefighting equipment was not ready. The factory burned down in spectacular fashion (On March 24, 1943). The 280 staff were all redeployed to other industries.”
Just months after the new factory for Ogden Industries was opened, and shortly after midnight on Wednesday, March 24, 1943, a fire could be seen for nearly 50 miles stemming from the factory located on Sunshine Street, West Footscray, Melbourne, Australia. Dr. Ogden also added, “My father (John Ogden Jr.) went off to war and my grandfather suffered a cerebral haemorrhage and died (June 5, 1943). Ogden Industries was acquired by Noyes Brothers.” (On September 25, 1946; Ogden Sr. previously worked for them before founding Ogden Industries).
The Lockwood company in America also played its role in World War II. In 1941, Lockwood Hardware Mfg. Co. secured a contract to aid in what would become known as The Manhattan Project. The company was entrusted with urgently supplying its government with large quantities of “security key system locks” for the base in Oak Ridge, TN where the project was taking place. From that facility would rise the Atomic Age, which would send out two of the largest and deadliest weapons ever deployed in the history of warfare, killing nearly 200,000 people.
Morris Falk immigrated from Russia to the United States of America in 1901. He was quick to learn the trade of die-making and excelled in his field; Falk even invented die designs of his own (barrettes and hair pins). In his early thirties, Falk founded the Independent Lock Company, commonly referred to as ILCO. Falk’s role was paramount in building the bridge between America and Australia and is the reason the Lockwood brand exists today in both hemispheres of the world. ILCO continues to be a successful company and is the world’s largest supplier of key blanks.
Two years after Falk’s death, ILCO, along with Lockwood Hardware Mfg. Co. was acquired by Unican in 1972, with Aaron M. Fish as CEO. The company was moved from Fitchburg to Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Fish stated that, “Lockwood is a cancer,” in a report. He aimed to get rid of the company and did so by splitting the company up to maximize his profits.
He first struck a deal with Lloyd Matheson (USA) in June of 1975. "For $25,000, he would take all of Lockwood's lock-related tooling, patterns, fixtures, trademarks, designs for master-key systems, and for $10,000 up front plus another $190,000 on a pay-out basis we gave him the company’s inventory and work in progress. We would retain the Lockwood name for key blanks, which Matheson would purchase from us for his operations." Aaron Fish then reached out to Australia. "We opened 1977 with strong hopes...secured an agreement with Ogden Industries...based in Australia, to buy the Lockwood trademark for $250,000. They would have exclusive use of the trademark in Australia, New Zealand, Papa New Guinea and the Philippines, non-exclusive use in most of the world, and would refrain from marketing their products under the Lockwood name in Canada, the (United) States and Mexico. The agreement further stipulated that Ogden would pursue an active program of distributing ILCO Utican key blanks, key-duplicating machines and push-button locks." —Under Lock & Key, The UNICAN Story, by Aaron M. Fish.
Both the American and Australian Lockwood companies changed hands with different companies over recent years. In 1993, Email Limited acquired Ogden Industries, incorporating the Efco & Lockwood brands. In 1995, Lockwood (Australia), Efco, and Whitco merged as one company, becoming Lockwood Australia Limited. In 1999, ASSA ABLOY Group purchased 50% of Lockwood Australia Unlimited and formed Lockwood Security Products Pty. Limited. In 2001, ASSA ABLOY Group purchased 100% of Lockwood Security Products Pty. Limited, and in 2005, Lockwood Security Products Pty. Limited became ASSA ABLOY Australia Pty. Limited. Today, the “Australian” Lockwood brand is still owned by the giant ASSA ABLOY Group, a company that has acquired over 300 companies since ASSA of Sweden and ABLOY of Finland merged in 1994.
Winter Rose purchased the “American” Lockwood Hardware Mfg. Co. from Lloyd Matheson on September 4, 1997. In the same year, Winter Rose sold Lockwood to Mascoma Savings Bank, FSB on November 19. On the same date, it sold to Magnokrom Inc., which eventually became Lockwood Industries Inc. on September 5. Today, the headquarters of Lockwood Industries Inc. is in Burlington, Ontario, Canada.
- Lockwood Twin
- Lockwood Generation 6
- Lockwood MT5
- Lockwood Digital DX
- Lockwood 110 series
- Lockwood 334 series
Security and Picking
Very few (if any) unmodified Lockwood locks use security pins, and all Lockwood padlock plugs rotate in the same direction (Clockwise), making them relatively low security.
However some Lockwood padlocks, such as the Lockwood 234/45 features an Interchangeable Core, which can increase security, however these cores can be removed when the lock is open by simply using a screwdriver, rather than an interchange key / control key. This means that with access to an open padlock a key can be made to fit the lock through decoding.
- About Us, Lockwood Australia Website
- 75 Year anniversary, Lockwood Australia Website
- Rabbit Standing, small
- Illustrated and Descriptive Catalogue (1894)
- Lockwood Builders Hardware Catalog No. 20 (1932) (Archive.org)
- Patrician Hardware by Lockwood (1938) (Archive.org)
- Lockwood: The Story of Its Past; The Basis for Its Future.
- Lockwood Finishing Hardware (1959) (Archive.org)
- Lockwood: From America to Australia (2022)