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Antique Early 20th Century Painted Steel Strong Box with Electrical Alarm System (Code 1771)

  • £14500


This unusual item is an early 20th century strong box in steel but painted to look like rosewood.  It has a key retaining lock with double sided lever lock which would have been quite high security in it's day.  Internally there is a two division tray. 

The most interesting feature is the internal electrical mechanism which works as an alarm and amazingly still works.  It runs off a battery, and I currently have it working with a 4.5 volt lantern battery, although it may have used something else originally.  To the base is an opening with a connecting loop which could be attached to a chain or cable, when this is pulled (ie someone tries to remove the box) it pulls down the contactor and completes a simple solenoid circuit which actuates a clapper which hits repeatedly onto the box wall internally.  This creates more of a loud clatter as opposed to a ring but certainly does get your attention.  There is also a cocking lever to allow the mechanism to be armed or disarmed.  You can also set the mechanism off manually by pressing the contactor (blued steel strip) down.  For buyers on the UK mainland I can include the battery so you can play with it right away, overseas buyers unfortunately I can't send you the battery due to shipping restrictions, but these batteries are still readily available so you should be able to acquire one locally.

Great fun and unusual, and a very simple circuit to study and enjoy.  Lantern batteries have been around since the 1930's and that does seem to fit with this box which likely dates just pre WW2.



Electrical mechanism working as does the lock - Battery only included for UK mainland buyers - overseas, highlands, islands and offshore buyers Battery NOT included, sorry.  Cover plate to enclose the mechanism screws into place although no screws are present - easy to fix should you wish to use the item as a cash box rather than just enjoy it for fun.  Wear, scratches and scuffs to the paint - see images for general condition.  Cable jointing ferrule and hook to underside will need to be changed to work with whatever system you wish to deploy if wanting to use this function - the whole baseboard just unscrews to allow easy access for this.

Approx Dimensions

Height: 13.2 cm ( 5 1/4 inch )

Width: 24.5 cm ( 9 5/8 inch )

Depth: 19 cm ( 7 1/2 inch )

Weight: 5370 grams (before packing)

Stock Code:  1771 JL19-3



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