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Question about Old West or Slave Leg Irons

June 21 2008 at 11:41 AM
Kris  (no login)

Hello Fellow Collectors;

I was wondering if someone could give me a little knowledge on some leg irons I purchased recently. They are the old type with one shackle that has a locking mechanism, and the other that has a "less-sophisticated" enclosure with No Lock. We've all seen these types, and I "think" history says that most were constructed by the town blacksmith?? But I'm just curious if anywone knows the history and theory behind why these types of shackles were made with only 1 obvious lock, and what was the other shackle used for or fasten together with? I attached some pics to see what I mean. Any info I'd appreciate it. Happy Collecting!!!

Kris

 
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Anonymous
(no login)

pictures???

June 21 2008, 4:40 PM 

sorry KRIS but picture's didn't come through please try again

 
 
Kris
(no login)

RE:

June 21 2008, 5:22 PM 

Here's the pics, something happened during earlier download. Just copy and paste to your browser.

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk28/oldwest_handcuffs/leg1.jpg

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk28/oldwest_handcuffs/leg2-1.jpg


Kris



 
 
Steve Santini
(no login)

Why one lock

June 21 2008, 5:48 PM 

While not all ancient irons like these were made with only one key locking side many were.

The reason was pure economics as it cost far less in time a labour to make only one locking side.

Steve Santini

 
 
Anonymous
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Re: Question about Old West or Slave Leg Irons

June 21 2008, 7:45 PM 



 
 
Franklin
(no login)

Re: Question about Old West or Slave Leg Irons

June 21 2008, 8:00 PM 

Oooops. Hit the wrong button too soon; the last post is me.

Kris:

It seems you've not familiar with how the "non-locking" shackle on your fetter works; hopefully the foregoing pictures will illustrate it. Usually, it's called a puzzle shackle, although it would probably be more accurate to call it a cam lock. As you can see, one link passes though the other as a cam, and then the chain passes though it to hold the whole thing in place.

If the lock is permanently attached to the chain, then the cam link has to be large enough to thread the open lock through.

While I can't tell for sure from you pictures, judging from the design of the locking shackle, in all likelihood your fetter was made in the Middle East and may have been used not as a human shackle but as a camel hobble, as you can see here:


Franklin

 
 
Mike
(no login)

Oldwest send me your contact info

February 13 2018, 12:11 AM 

Kris, send me your contact. I disnt get the outlook for IOS message on Ebay.

 
 
 
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