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Linus Yale, Jr.

Born: 14-Apr-1821
Birthplace: Salisbury, NY
Died: 24-Dec-1868
Location of death: New York City
Cause of death: Heart Failure
Remains: Buried, Arms Cemetery, Shelburne Falls, MA

Gender: Male
Religion: Christian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Inventor, Business

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Pin tumbler locks

Linus Yale, Jr. grew up around locks -- his father was a locksmith and inventor who held eight patents for locks and another half dozen patents for such concoctions as threshing machines, a sawmill head block, and a millstone dresser. Young Yale (a distant relative of Elihu Yale) first sketched his tumbler lock idea in 1844, and worked on its practical implementation for decades. Drawing on principles first put to use in large wooden locks built by ancient Egyptians, in 1851 he patented a pin tumbler lock for use in bank vaults; in 1863 he patented the pin tumbler combination lock for use in doors, and in 1865 he patented the pin tumbler padlock. His father had invented an earlier pin tumbler lock, but the younger Yale's design was smaller, sturdier, more reliable, and changed the key design from the previous standard of a flute-shape to the smaller, flat key with notched edges still common today. In 1868 he established the Yale Lock Manufacturing Company with his business partner, Henry Robinson Towne (b. 1844, d. 1924). Yale traveled to New York later that year, where he died of a heart attack while haggling to have his locks installed in a skyscraper. The locks were already selling briskly, and under Towne's management Yale became America's #1 manufacturer of locks.

Father: Linus Yale (locksmith-inventor, b. 27-Apr-1797, d. 8-Aug-1858)
Mother: Chlotilda Hopson Yale (b. 6-May-1797, m. 27-Sep-1815)
Sister: Elvira Yale (b. 20-Jun-1816, d. 20-Jan-1839)
Sister: Chlothilda Yale (b. 2-Apr-1819, d. 6-May-1890)
Brother: Merron H. Yale (b. 13-Jul-1833, d. 27-Feb-1834)
Wife: Catherine Brooks Yale (b. 1818, m. 14-Sep-1844, d. 22-Mar-1900, three children)
Son: John Brooks Yale (b. 26-Oct-1845, d. 28-Aug-1904)
Daughter: Madelaine Yale Wynne (artist-author, b. 25-Sep-1847, d. 1918)
Son: Julian Yale (b. 26-Mar-1850)

    Yale Lock Manufacturing Company Founder & President, 1868
    Welsh Ancestry

Author of books:
A Dissertation on Locks and Lockpicking, and the Principles of Burglar Proofing (1856)



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