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Early Door Hardware
The earliest automobile doors were a throwback to those of horsedrawn vehicles and needed nothing more than a simple latch to hold them closed. In fact, door hardware was often provided by the same companies which provided carriage hardware. English and Mersick, as well as C. Cowles were two such companies that made the transition.

Evolution of Handles
Brass loop type handles gave way to die-cast T-handles which were eventually transformed into the more streamlined L-shaped handles.

Evolution of Locks
Pin-tumbler locks were fitted into some of the early looping handles. In other cases, locks were installed independent of the exterior handles. Pillar locks consisted of a basic cylindrical shaped lock with a long tailpiece which would connect to the door latch mechanism inside the door cavity. The advent of die-casting made it a fairly simple and inexpensive process to combine the lock with the door handle.

Door and Trunk Locks for Antique Cars

Handle Locks

English and Mersick latch
The loop handle on the English and Mersick latch assembly at left is the exterior handle; the upper handle is the interior handle and extends through the top of the door. The exterior handle is locked by depressing the button at top of interior handle and is unlocked by the interior handle. 1920 buick handle
Handle made by Cowles with what appears to be a Corbin lock. This is said to be for a 1920 Buick.
handle with eagle lock
Handle with Eagle lock.
locking door latch
Surface mounted door latch
The locking door latch at left is probably for a truck. The lever at top is the inside handle. The spindle from the exterior handle would fit into the square hole. The locking lever is at the right. handle - model a
Locking Model A handle
modle a ford handles
Image of three different types of Model A handles provided by Cal Allan.
In the four years of production for the Model A Ford, several different handles were used. There is probably nobody more knowledgeable about Model A Ford locks than Cal Allan of Chandler, Arizona.
handle ilco lock
Handle with Ilco lock
handle chicago cabinet lock
Handle with Chicago Cabinet lock
handle chicago lock
Handle with Chicago lock
handle imperial lock
Handle with Imperial lock
handle yale lock
Handle with Yale lock
majestic handle company catalog cover
Majestic Handle Co. catalog image provided by Cal Allan
Handle with swivel dust cover
1939 packard handle
Handle for 1939 Packard
autocity products handle
locking handle
Locking Handles Pillar Locks