The joints on which doors, lids, gates, shutters, and an infinite number of articles are made to swing, fold, open, or shut up. Independently of a great variety of kinds and sizes kept ready made by ironmongers, there is a constant demand for others of novel forms or properties to adapt them to particular objects. The chief varieties are the following: - cross-garnets, made in the form of the letter T, for gates and out-house doors, from 6 inches to 36 inches long; and a nearly similar kind made with long straps and hooks to fix in the stiles, to enable the gates or doors to be lifted off their hinges at pleasure. Those used in common for the doors of apartments are termed butts, of which there are many varieties. Those used for shutters are called back-flaps: similar hinges are used for the joints of bedsteads, and very nearly the same kind for Pembroke and other tables; another sort, called H and HL hinges, from their resemblance to those letters, are extensively employed for common purposes.
There are also many other sorts, distinguished by appellations that designate their uses, and are too numerous to mention.
All the various sorts are, or may be made in the different metals, and most of them are to be found ready manufactured in wrought-iron, cast-iron, and brass, and differently finished. The chief manufactories are at Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Tipton, and several parts of Staffordshire. The best of the wrought-iron kind are made in Lancashire, and the heavier sort at Newcastle. We have several excellent hinge manufacturers in London; amongst whom should be particularly noticed Messrs. Collinge and Son, and Mr. Redmund, on account of their admirable improvements, which have been the subject of patent rights. Instead of the ordinary plan, of a cylindrical joint working round a fixed central pin, Messrs. Collinge form the end, as it were, of the pin, into a sphere, over which a hollow spherical cap fixed to the other limb of the hinge is made to fit accurately; this is provided with a cavity for the reception of oil, having a small perforation to conduct it between the two spherical surfaces, which work with great truth and freedom.
The principle of the invention is unquestionably good, and by paying great attention to the manufacture of the article, the inventors have succeeded in obtaining for them a high reputation; they are, in consequence, extensively adopted, especially in turnpike-gates, where their neatness, efficiency, and durability, have established them almost as an indispensable appendage.
Mr. Redmund, of the City Road, has likewise, with great skill and assiduity, bent his attention to the improvement of hinges, in giving them new features and properties, and in finishing them in a style of unusual excellence. We have been informed by an architect of great eminence, that Mr. Redmund possesses a rare degree of ingenuity in adapting hinges to apparently impracticable situations, in giving them an ornamental or a symmetrical appearance where they would in general be deemed a disfigurement, and in rendering them invisible when the style of architecture does not admit of any variations or additions; and that it was on this account that he was employed in rehanging the doors in Windsor Castle, in the recent splendid improvements made in that palace by the late king. This excellent mechanic was educated a carpenter, and being now an engineer and iron founder of some repute, he unites, as it were, within himself, all the resources of his art. Our assigned limits will not permit us to give a detailed description of the variously formed hinges made by this manufacturer, but we will just notice one of them, which is upon the door of the room where we are writing.
Those hinges termed rising-butts, whose rubbing surfaces move in a spiral, or rather a helical line upwards on opening the door, causes the latter to descend below the level of the carpet, are probably familiar to enabling it to pass above the carpet on the floor, and which, on shutting the door, most persons; in that case it will not have escaped their notice that doors so hung possess this inconvenience, that they will not stand open of themselves, but are disposed to shut-to, nearly. To obviate these disadvantages, Mr. Redmund cuts from the helical curves two small horizontal planes, so that they come opposite to each other when the door is opened so far as to be at right angles to the stile, that is, having made a quadrant of its circle, at which place the door is consequently at rest, and to shut it when in this position requires a slight pull, which causes the horizontal plane to slide off its support, and the door then returns by its descent on the helix. Persons seldom open a door more than 50 or 60° on entering or leaving a room; consequently, doors hung with these hinges, always shut when left to their own action, and stand open only when they are turned to the full quadrant. In some cases Mr. Redmund assists the door to shut-to closely when opened only a very little way, by the introduction of a very small spring. A variety of these patent hinges may be seen at the manufacturer's warehouse in Frith-street, Soho, London.
Having noticed, a few years ago, the inconvenience (attended with personal danger in some situations) of outside shutters to windows, we contrived a simple addition to the common outside shutter hinges, which completely obviated it. Outside shutters when open, are generally fastened back to the wall by means of those common appendages driven into the wall called turn-backles, which often become loose, broken, or lost; the consequences of which, in windy weather, are, not unfrequently broken windows and broken shutters, besides other inconveniences, which need not be specified. Fig. 1 represents the ordinary hinge shut: and Fig. 2 shows it open. A square hole is cut out at A, and into it is strongly rivetted a semicircular piece of iron A B, a portion of it being split in the manner shown, to form it into a spring, and the extremity being turned upwards to form a stop, as shown at C. Upon opening the hinge the flap B passes over the arc, pressing on the spring, and when arrived at the stop C, it has passed the spring, and is completely open with the shutter fastened flat against the wall.