A Gazetteer of Lock and Key Makers

Jim Evans

this gazetteer is copyright Jim Evans, 2002

James Gibbons Ltd. from 1918 to 1939


After the War work production would have gradually returned to normal.  But window frames continued to be important. It may be that this extension of their activities into window frames came about because of war time government requirements.  From about the immediate post war period we have this picture from an advertisement:

This "All-Open" window was ingeniously designed to give the maximum ventilation and to allow both sides of all the glass to be cleaned from inside the room.  Each of the three window sections could be opened separately or all three thrown wide open as shown in the photo.

Work on locks continued and, by the mid 1920s, they had designed and made a "Thief Proof Rim Night Latch" to combat the competition from the "Yale Cylinder Pin Tumbler Lock". Eventually Gibbons  had over 200 patents and registered designs.  

The illustrations below come from a catalogue of that time.

The object on the right is a shallow Oil Check, which was a device for making a door open and close more smoothly and to stop it slamming.

The item on the left is a set of adjustable spring butts - a form of hinge.

By the time this advertisement appeared in the Architects Compendium for 1920 they are still leading on locks.

At this time it seems clear that James Gibbons was, despite its size, still operating as a privately owned family business and not as a limited company. 

In the 1930s they acquired the safe making firm of Cyrus Price and Co. Ltd., (patent lock and fire resisting safe manufacturers) of Britannia Works, Wednesfield Road, Wolverhampton(qv). 

At some time (not yet established) they also took over the local firms of James Mace (est. 1807) and George Monk (est. 1842).

This undated photograph of Gibbons directors and senior staff was probably taken during this period.

Courtesy of Frank Spittle.

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Continue the firm's story after 1939