Matthews patent of 1892 and 1893

Several years ago, I shared an illustration from an 1895 issue of Hardware Dealers’ magazine.

Pat. Nov. 1st 1892

Pat. May 9th 1893

Columbian Door Securer.—A dead-lock for doors. Lock and key combined with corkscrew, all in a nicely nickel-plated or polished brass case, to be carried in a vest pocket. Agents wanted, can make 150 per cent., $10 to $25 per day to the right one. Sample by mail 50 cents. J.H. MATTHEWS 312 E. Monroe St. South Bend, IND.


I was curious about the patent dates, but even more curious about the combination of a Door Securer AND a corkscrew.

Moreover, I was curious as to why one would need to secure a door after utilizing the corkscrew for its intended purpose.

And, in 1893, in South Bend, Indiana, what was happening that one felt a door needed to be secured?

The word Columbian, is surely a reference to the to the 1893 World’s fair; The Columbian Exposition held in Chicago.  And, there are many corkscrews (and other products) marked for Columbus during that time.

That said, following a recent exchange with someone who ran across the blog, I decided to take a look at the patent drawings, as there are two dates in the advertisement.




From the drawing in the 1893 patent, it looks as if within a roundlet casing, there is a peg and worm type mechanism, with a spike at one end, that somehow serves as a means to disallow a door to be opened.

And, as of today, a deal was struck with the aforementioned blog reader, who had happened to find the Columbian Door Securer in amongst some antique car parts, and subsequently contacted me.

I will publish more photos when it arrives, but from what I can see, the casing is marked J.H. MATTHEWS, SOUTH BEND, IND.  The ring in the middle, looks as if it is written PAT APPLD. FOR.


With the piece open, the reverse side of the PAT. APPD FOR ring, is also marked COLUMBIAN, and the door securer carries the earlier Nov. 1, 1892 patent date…

…which, is actually explained in his 1893 patent description.  Matthew’s explains:

This invention consists of my door securer, patented November 1, 1892, with an improved nut which is so formed, that a thimble like case fits over both ends of same, thereby forming a case for the door securer, as well as for the cork screw, which is so constructed that it fits over both ends of the same, therefore forming a case for the door securer, as well as for the cork screw, which is so constructed that it fits directly over the bolt of the door securer when in the case, thereby allowing the case to be made small enough to be conveniently carried in the pocket and which secures the pocket from the spurs of the door securer, or the sharp point of the corkscrew(emphasis added).

An awesome find from the Back of O’Leary…


Thanks Ralph!!!



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