Until within a comparatively few years the trimmings commonly used with mortise locks consisted of a pair of knobs, roses and escutcheons.
The rose was a round metal plate made to be screwed to the door and with a socket to receive the shank of the knob and prevent its wearing out the lock; it also made a finish over the hole in the door. The escutcheon was a small plate with a keyhole, Fig. 392, used to make a finish over the keyhole in the door. On outside doors they were often provided with a cover which dropped over the hole. Rim locks are often trimmed in the same way on the outside of the door, but on the inside no rose or escutcheon is needed. These trimmings are stilled used to a considerable extent in very cheap work, and also in very nice work, where a special effect is desired, but as a general thing the rose and escutcheon are now combined in one long plate, termed "escutcheon plate" or "combined escutcheon," for the reason that a long plate can be more securely fastened to the door, because the screw holes are placed above and below the lock, while with the rose and small escutcheon one of the screws, and sometimes both, come opposite the lock case where there is but little wood to receive them. For ordinary trimmings the long escutcheon also has the neatest appearance and the difference in cost is but very slight.
As the term "escutcheon" is used to designated both the small keyhole plate and the long plate for knob and keyhole (and also the key mechanism of cylinder locks), it is not at all definite when used alone, hence in specifying, either the "combined rose and escutcheon," or the particular catalogue number desired should be given. The Yale & Towne Manufacturing Company have adopted the term "key plate" to designate the old style escutcheon, and they make several ornamental patterns with and without covers for the keyhole, for use with glass knobs. The shape of the escutcheon does not as a rule effect the knobs and spindle, i. e. on plain goods.
Knobs and Spindle. - The common knob, spindle and rose is shown in Fig. 391. The knobs themselves are made of various materials and in different shapes, but all are fitted to a metal shank which receives the spindle. The spindle is the square iron bar which connects the knobs and transmits the knob motion to the hub of the lock or catch. The common method of attaching the shank to the spindle is by means of a screw (see Fig. 391) which passes entirely through the spindle. There are generally three screw holes in each end of the spindle to permit adjusting to doors of different thickness. It is generally impossible, however, to adjust the knob shanks perfectly by screws alone, and hence small washers are depended upon for the closer adjustment between the end of the shank and the socket of the rose or escutcheon plate. The difficulty of getting a perfect adjustment of the knobs so that they will not rattle, and the tendency of the screws to work loose and drop out, have led to the invention of a number of devices for attaching the shank to the spindle without the use of screws passing through the spindle. Although many of these devices are ingenious and possess much merit, but two or three are now used to any extent, and the common square spindle with a screw is much more extensively used than any other pattern. The Yale & Towne Manufacturing Co., are the only manufacturers, the author believes, that exclusively use a patent spindle. The Triplex spindle used by them consists of three triangular rods which, when united, form a square spindle to one end of which one knob is permanently pinned. The other knob carries a set screw which bears on the spindle as shown in Fig. 394. The tightening of this screw forces the spindle into frictional engagement with the knob shank and holds the knob securely at any point, thus affording perfect adjustment without resort to washers, and eliminating all looseness and rattle of the knobs. Messrs. P. & F. Corbin and the Russell & Erwin Manufacturing Co. make screwless attachments for use with their cast bronze knobs, which accomplish practically the same result as the triplex spindle, although at slightly greater expense. Front door and vestibule locks, in which the knobs turn independently of each other, are usually fitted with a swivel spindle, as shown in Fig. 393. With such locks the outer knob should be fixed to the spindle without screws, otherwise the shank can be removed from the outside of the door, the spindle pushed in and the inner latch follow turned back.
Fig- 391- - Knob With Spindle - Screw Partly Covered.
226. Shape and Material of
Door Knobs. - The shape of a door knob depends somewhat upon the material of which it is made and whether it is a wrought or cast knob.
For mineral and cast metal knobs the more common shape is that of a flattened sphere, as shown in Fig. 394. Cast bronze knobs and Bower-Barffed iron knobs are also made ball shape, which usually adds a litttle more to the cost. Cast bronze metal knobs are also made egg shaped and in the form of a letter S.
Wrought bronze metal knobs are commonly made of the two general shapes shown in section, in Fig. 395. These knobs are known to the trade as "spun knobs," they are made of two pieces of metal, shrunk together, and to the shank, as shown. Spun knobs are less expensive than cast knobs, and cannot be made without a bead or edge where the parts are joined, the bead on the edge of a knob being generally indicative of wrought metal, although some cast knobs have a bead on the edge, and many of the best wrought knobs are made in the shape shown in Fig. 394, the bronze being worked over a wrought steel shell. The common sizes of round knobs, whether flattened or spherical, are 2¼ inches for inside knobs and 2½ inches for outside knobs.
Fig- 393 - Swivel Spindle.
Fig 394. - Yale Triplex Spindle.
Material. - The cheapest knobs are made of earthenware, porcelain and various compositions, and are commonly known as "mineral knobs" when of a mottled color, "jet knobs" when black and "porcelain knobs" when white. All of these knobs are sold with iron or bronze shanks and roses. The bronze is much the better, both in appearance and durability, and should always be specified
(with these knobs) for everything but the most inferior work.
A good jet knob with bronze shank and wrought bronze escutcheon plate makes a neat trimming for cottages and the inferior parts of larger houses. It is easily kept clean and does not change in color.
Wooden knobs, finished in the natural color, have been used to some extent, and may be obtained in most large cities. Their shape is usually that of a flat disc.
Glass knobs were at one time very popular, but owing to the difficulty of applying them and the fact that they were made hardly good enough for the best work and were too expensive for ordinary rooms, their use became extremely limited.
The Yale & Towne Manufacturing Co., however, have recently placed on the market a line of cut glass knobs which are free from all of the objections made to the old style knobs, and besides being very handsome, harmonize admirably with many schemes for interior decoration. These knobs have bronze shanks fitted to the triplex spindle, and are commonly trimmed with round roses and small key plates, although escutcheon plates may be used if desired. A few patterns of these knobs are illustrated in Plate V. They are made of three general types, as follows: A plain round knob of flat form, a plain octagon form, a plain spherical or ball form - each type being cut in various ornamental patterns.
The more common material for door knobs at the present time is bronze metal, either wrought or cast, this material being susceptible of a great variety of shapes and finishes and of a very high grade of ornamentation. The principal finishes used are described in Section 203. Where the knobs are subject to much wear, a plain round cast knob, natural finish, generally gives the best satisfaction, as it is easy to the hand and is easily kept bright. Nearly all of the plated finishes show the effects of wear after a time, although the ornamental goods may be used for a long time in residences without any perceptible change.
Iron knobs, finished by the Bower-Barff process are much used for public buildings.