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Underwriters Laboratory
Representing the insurance industry, Underwriters Laboratory called for increased security for automobile locks. In response to this call, the lock manufacturers stepped up their research into more secure locks.

E P Hurd
During the 1920s Hurd Lock had been steadily building their company, in part by selling pin-tumbler padlocks to the U S military, probably drawing on their founder's background in procurement. By 1932 Hurd Lock was supplying Ford with their highly touted pin-tumbler locks.

Yale & Towne Corporation
Yale had recently purchased Miller Lock and had been supplying wafer locks under the Miller name as well as the Yale Junior name while continuing sales of pin-tumbler locks under the Yale name. In 1933 Yale produced the Omega Lock, billed as a more secure wafer lock, for use with Chrysler products. A minor change was made in 1934; in 1935 Yale returned to pin-tumbler locks for the Chrysler products.

Briggs & Stratton Corporation
Briggs & Stratton continued their concentration on wafer locks, bringing out the "sleeve" lock for the 1933 Buick, Oldsmobile and Chevrolet, and yet another new lock for the 1934 model year - this one using a double-sided key. Finally for 1935, the "side-bar" lock, a modified wafer lock, was introduced for General Motors products. This lock proved so effective that its use, with only minor modifications, was continued for more than 50 years.

It should be noted that the pairing of lock manufacturer to automobile manufacturer mentioned above, while true in general, was not always an exclusive arrangement.

1930s Advances in Automobile Locks

Insurance Companies Demand Better Locks

briggs & stratton sleeve lock
Briggs & Stratton Sleeve Lock for 1933 Oldsmobile. Note the brass sleeve inside the lock case.
briggs & stratton plug for 1934 gm
In 1934 Briggs & Stratton introduced their new double-sided wafer lock. This one is for a Buick.
briggs sidebar plug
Plug for Briggs & Stratton sidebar lock. Extended sidebar is at left.
briggs sidebar plug with key
With the key inserted, the sidebar is withdrawn into the plug.
The 1935 Briggs & Stratton sidebar lock was an improvement in several ways. Because it was the sidebar and not the wafers which made contact with the lock case, picking the lock was made more difficult. The new lock used 4 depths and 6 spaces which allowed the use of 1500 different keys. These two factors allowed Briggs & Stratton to go head to head with the pin-tumbler lock manufacturers. gm sidebar case
Ignition lock case with cutout for sidebar in opposite wall.
Yale Omega Lock for Chrysler products
Yale Omega lock plug and key
Yale Omega key set for Chrysler products
Yale Omega key set for 1933 Chrysler products
Yale Omega locks were used in the 1933 and 1934 Chrysler products. The X-series was used in 1933; the Z-series in 1934. The 1934 keyblanks were not interchangable with the previous year. Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth, and De Soto each had its own keyblank, differentiated only by the position of the shoulder. Eventually a Universal blank was designed for each series which could be used in any of the cars. Besides the difference in keyblanks, another, not so obvious, change was made in 1934; another depth was added to the four used in 1933, allowing an increase of 750 additional different keys to be used.
Yale Omega key set for 1934 Chrysler products
Yale Omega key set for 193 Chrysler products