today. If they were popular more
should have shown up in collections.
Cleveland 4-WAY was an early
leader in high security US locks.
They offered two different models that had hardened steel cases
and shackles. The 4-Way mechanism is almost pick-proof and
the keys are almost impossible
to duplicate. These locks were
about 60 - 70 years ahead of their
time. The large 4-Way in figures 3
and 4, had a massive shackle and
body. It was a very formidable
The shackle has a rotary bolt
dead locking on the toe of the
shackle. This is perhaps the only
weak point in the lock. The cylinder in the large lock is guarded
by steel. However, the smaller
model has a very exposed cylinder. It would be easy to drill out
However, for the 1930’s and
1940’s these were about the
strongest padlocks that could be
The smaller 4-Way in figure
5, is actually a standard brass
model that has a steel case. The
steel case does make the lock
stronger, but the cylinder is quite
exposed. Perhaps the lock was
made during WWII in an effort to
Another early higher security
padlock was one made by Hurd
Lock Co. At first, this lock looks
like many other locks made to-
day. However, this lock was first
made in the late 1940’s and into
the 1950’s, (figure 6).
To call it high security is
a stretch because its locking
mechanism is not very secure.
The shackle only locks on one
side and that is the heal end.
Also the pin tumbler lock mecha-
nism is quite standard and easily
picked. The cylinder can also
be shimmed! It is included here
because it introduced the basic
shape of what is considered
today to be a type of high secu-
rity. The lock had a high security
shackle and case only, it was a
In the 1960’s Eagle Lock Co.
was experimenting with true
high security locks. The locks
in figure 7, are two from Eagle’s
research department. These
locks never reached production.
If these locks made production I
feel that they would have offered
serious competition for S&G with
US Government contracts.
Figure 8, shows that the Eagle
lock on the right has a heavy
plate protecting the cylinder. This
is a big improvement over the
lock on the left which has a very
Also note the guarded shackles which is a trait today of high
security locks. The mechanism
is Eagle’s finest ever produced.
Eagle called it the “ 5 Star”. It had
three different locking mechanisms completely contained in
the cylinder. One was a Bell-type
(Mills). There was a combination
5. Smaller steel 4-way.
6. Hurd lock.
7. Experimental Eagle locks.
8. Note protected cylinder.