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Door Knob or Lever Handle?

Door Knob or Lever Handle? Living in a period house? Then the answer is likely to be door knob.  Levers did not come into popular use until the 1900’s.

Door Knob or Lever Handle? Living in a period house? then the answer is likely to be door knob.  Levers did not come into popular use until the 1900’s.

 

Historically, opening and closing your doors would have started with a rock and a piece of string hanging on a rusty iron nail. In fact that still happens today if I think of my garden shed!

 

Then we progressed through all sorts of forged iron work culminating in the ubiquitous Suffolk thumb latch which is still used on plank doors today. Housing improved and folks switched to panel doors which fitted more accurately and hence were less draughty but require better locks and latches. Simple plain brass knobs were the cheapest solution.

 

Your status in life could be judged by the quality of your doors and you knobs. The Georgians were really into door knobs of all shapes and sizes and those in grand houses were works of art. The Victorians introduced more decorative knobs but in the Edwardian and Deco eras they became more stylish with the introduction of Bakelite plastic , allowing designers to add elongated back plates and art deco designs .

 

Levers came in because knobs had to be set back a little into the door to stop the user’s knuckles grazing against the frame when opening and closing. By using a lever the lock can be set closer to the edge of the door, with the lever taking ones hand away from the frame. It also allowed for cheaper locks and latches.

 

Brass is easier than steel to smelt, cast, stamp or polish and so became the favourite over iron and remained so until the introduction of aluminium and Mazak materials which could be pressure moulded into elegant shapes .

 

Today, sales of levers far exceed those of knobs and  the range of designs is unimaginably extensive. Classic designs still stand out as exemplified by our Reeded Beehive and Georgian Bloxwich

Designs in brass and nickle.


  • Write By: Jonathan-Watson
  • Published In: ROOT
  • Created Date: 2016-10-31

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