Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,135 pages of information and 233,678 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Alfred Charles Hobbs

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An American, described by some as a "lockpicker"[1]

1851 Visited Britain to compete at the 1851 Great Exhibition where he was able to open Bramah's "Challenge Lock". Following some argument about the circumstances under which he had opened it (which continued for several years), he was awarded Bramah's prize. Hobbs attempt had taken him some 45 hours, spread over 16 days. He believed his own design of lock was more secure and offered it for testing[2]

1851 Established his locks business in London - see Hobbs and Co

1853 Opened Saxby's lock in 10 minutes in front of several members of the Society of Arts

Introduced American mass production techniques into lock-making in Britain, where the industry which was largely dominated by individual skilled craftsman.

1859 Alfred Charles Hobbs of Arlington Street, New South Road, London.[3]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, July 7, 1853
  2. The Times July 15, 1853
  3. 1859 Institution of Mechanical Engineers