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Joseph Fox
(no login)

Legirons

October 14 2013, 7:16 PM 

Thanks all again - for the very helpful information!

 
 
David
(Login dltvette)

Re: Swing-Through Legiron History

October 15 2013, 3:45 PM 

Joseph,
I'm not sure when The Peerless Handcuff Company first had their cataloged leg irons, but could this letter request have been their first attempt?
I don't think so, because it was when they were offering the Model 2 Version 5 series and they would be in my opinion, to small for an ankle.
The letter dated February 13, 1928 from the Peerless Handcuff Co. to Smith & Wesson requesting S&W to make up for them - six pair of Nickeled Peerless Handcuffs having five-foot chain connecting each half cuff in place of the usual two links. It is signed by James Milton Gill.
Why the 5-foot chain? Not sure if we will ever know.
Attached is a black & white photo copy of the original letter that I have. On the left side of the letter is six handwritten serial numbers I presume are the ones manufactured and delivered to Peerless.
I contacted Peerless and corresponded with Peter Gill and he sent me a copy of the page in the company log book that shows when they were sent and to whom.
Serial numbers 63462 - 63467 were sold to Wm. A. Gerber Company in St. Paul MN. on Feb. 18, 1928. Peter Gill stated, "Smith & Wesson did a prompt job fulfilling this request".
This was a 5-day turn-around.
Dave
[linked image]

 
 
Joseph Fox
(no login)

Legirons

October 15 2013, 6:25 PM 

Thanks, David....Just seeing ANY letter from "Peerless" to "Smith & Wesson" is neat.

As per the "Peerless Handcuff Company History" links, posted by Jason (above) - I now know that Peerless Legirons were introduced in 1971.

 
 
Tremex
(no login)

Re: Swing-Through Legiron History

October 17 2013, 2:24 PM 

The Peerless' triskelion represents swing-through cuffs ! I have never understood that ... Thanks for the information happy.gif)

 
 
Joseph Fox
(no login)

Legirons - Peerless logo

October 17 2013, 5:08 PM 

...and the Peerless swing-through "logo drawing" (on the letter in the above post) - is not to be confused with the 1960's "45 RPM record adapter" of the same appearance happy.gif

 
 
David
(Login dltvette)

Re: Swing-Through Legiron History

October 17 2013, 7:46 PM 

Good one Joe.
The Peerless logo in the above letter is the same logo used on the Peerless Model 1 Version 2 handcuffs.
Dave

[linked image]

 
 
Joseph Fox
(no login)

Peerless logo

October 18 2013, 1:48 PM 

David:

That logo is also found on all of their early solid-key models....and on the 1st introduction of their BARREL-KEY Model, circa 1932.

 
 
David
(Login dltvette)

Re: Swing-Through Legiron History

October 18 2013, 2:33 PM 

Joe,
The logo with TRADE on top of the emblem & MARK at the bottom, I have only seen on the Model 1 version 2.
All other versions through the Model 3, had logos with TRADE MARK on top of the emblem & REGISTERED at the bottom.
Shown are the two variations.
Dave


[linked image]

 
 
Tremex
(no login)

Re: Swing-Through Legiron History

October 18 2013, 2:57 PM 

I agree :

[linked image]

 
 
Joseph Fox
(no login)

Peerless Logo

October 18 2013, 3:20 PM 

Ok, thanks for the clarification...

I was just referring to the actual circular "3-bow symbol logo", when I said the above statement.

 
 
Joe Fox
(no login)

Re: Swing-Through Legiron History

October 19 2013, 8:04 PM 

I had stated above:

"That (Circle) logo is found on all of their early solid-key models...."



I was wrong: The Circle logo is NOT stamped on ALL models & variations of the Solid-Key Peerless handcuffs, as evidenced below:

It is NOT stamped on my 1st model Peerless solid-key handcuff, of these characteristics:

*Curved lock body
*Stamped: "Made by Smith & Wesson"
*Single chain-link
*Each cuff is identical (NOT "right" & "Left" cuffs)
*NO Circle logo

..just wanted to make that correction.








    
This message has been edited by lauher on Oct 20, 2013 4:28 PM


 
 
Franklin
(no login)

Re: Swing-Through Legiron History

October 21 2013, 8:13 PM 

David:

Interesting letter. My guess would be that those five-foot chain rascals were specially ordered for use as a transport restraint; one cuff on the prisoner, one on the LEO. I've seen old newsreels from the 1920s and 1930s in which high profile criminals (e.g. John Dillinger) were being transported; the criminal was in normal handcuffs and in turn secured to a cop by a long chain, around five feet.

As for Dillinger, when he was extradited from Arizona to Illinois, they did so by airplane. After Dillinger, in handcuffs, was seated in the airplane, they then used a set of leg irons to further secure him to the seat in front, to which he commented, "What do you think I'm going to do? Jump out of this thing?"

Joseph:

The Peerless logo has long piqued my curiosity. On that list of Peerless cuffs I prepared
http://www.network54.com/Forum/261154/message/1237772629/Peerless
I did so mainly for my own use to try to keep track of what I had pulled together. My use of "versions" was rather arbitrary often based only upon changes in the stampings that showed up on cuffs rather than a change in construction. The only difference between what I called M1V1 and a M1V2 is that early logo with TRADE at the top and MARK at the bottom.

The M1V3 switched to two connecting links from the original single long connecting link and had no logo stamped on it. The only difference between an M1V3 and M1V4 is the reappearance of the logo, but now marked TRADEMARK at the top and REGISTERED at the bottom. With the M1V5, the logo then rotated 90 degrees clockwise and remained that way until the M2V2 when it again rotated to an upright position and remained that way.

Just as curious, on their letterhead, Peerless continued to use the original TRADE MARK logo (no REGISTERED) through the 1940s. When they moved from 91 Dwight Street to 95 State Street and began manufacturing themselves, they stopped stamping the logo on the cuffs, but printed it on the lid of the box, adding a space between TRADE and MARK. As a lawyer, I find that strange since the correct legal term is "trademark" and not "trade mark."

Franklin

 
 
Joseph Fox
(no login)

Peerless Legiron/Logo

October 21 2013, 9:04 PM 

Franklin:

I consult with your "Peerless Model List" every so often - it's very helpful.

I receievd a reply from Peerless today - that they do not know the approx. year that they STOPPED stamping their Circle Logo on their cuffs. Their guess was in the 1950's??

(I even cited your information that they may have stopped the "Circle Logo" - after they moved to "95 State St").

Now, I'm more curious to find what the correct year/decade was - when the "Circle Logo" was ceased.


My rule of thumb:

Older Barrel-key models WITH Logo = heavy,thick,strong springs, close tolerances.

Newer Barrel-key models WITHOUT Logo = thinner,lighter springs, sloppier tolerances, more "delicate", but on the plus-side: they do have a smoother action.

 
 
David
(Login dltvette)

Re: Swing-Through Legiron History

October 21 2013, 10:44 PM 

Franklin, Thanks for the input. Could these have been an early version of the "Lead Chain" they manufactured between 1984 - 1993, which had one cuff attached to a 60" chain with a 3" ring on the opposite end?

[linked image]



[linked image]





Joseph,
Using Franklin's list the latest Peerless handcuff I have with the "circle logo", TRADE MARK on top & REGISTERED on bottom, is a Model 3 Version 2, serial number 230345, and sold to Federal Laboratories in Pittsburg, PA on December 14, 1950.
The earliest Model 3 Version 3 without the logo, is serial number 308641, sold to Alberts Uniforms in San Diego, CA on July 8, 1959.
I was told by Chris Gill, that they moved to the 95 State Street address around 1970.

Dave

 
 
Franklin
(no login)

Re: Swing-Through Legiron History

October 21 2013, 11:59 PM 

Joseph:

The M3V1 is really hard to find. It uses the barrel key lock (Model 3) patent number 1872857, but does not have any patent pending stamping. Once that patent was granted, they began so stamping the cuff, together with the Model 2 patent (1531451) presumably to cover the push pin double lock; I don't really know for sure. That's what I call the M3V2, and it had the logo on it. It's the "original" Model 3 you usually see. In addition to the logo, it has four other features. (1) It weighs over 10 ounces. (2) The dogs that engage the ditch in the arm are pins inserted into holes drilled into the inside of the cuff body. (3) It has an anti-shim notch on the arm just above where the ratchets start. (4) It came in one of the old burgandy boxes.

At some point, they did an overhaul on the cuff, the M3V3. Based upon what evidence I had at the time, I assumed (but never knew for sure) this was when Peerless began manufacturing the cuff themselves rather than subcontracting it out. It was sometime after World War II, and I assumed it coincided with the move to State Street. I could very well be wrong here. All in all, the changes seem to have been done to reduce manufacturing costs. The arm and body pieces where slightly thinner and the weight reduced to around 9.6 ounces (they later referred to it as a 10 ounce cuff). The anti-shim notch was eliminated and they began using a pressure stamp to create the dogs, which left a visible indentation on the outside of the cuff body. The logo on the cuff disappeared for good and the box was changed to an unglued, folded brown cardboard.

After this, it seems they never made any changes to the actual construction of the cuff. In the latter 1950s, they stopped Model 3 production with the Model 4. The Model 4, unlike all previous cuffs, had the Peerless name, patent info and stuff stamped only on the right cuff; the only stamping on the left cuff was the serial number. After the disaster of the Model 4, Model 3 production resumed. I have assumed that was when they only stamped the serial number on the left cuff, the M3V4.

David:

Hey, that thing looks familiar. While you can't really see it in your pictures, the only stamping on the cuff (being a left one) is the serial number. So, without the box, you really can't confirm it was made by Peerless. Accordingly, it is an M3V4 or later. The things were never popular. Although the box says "belly chain" I never could figure out how it could be used as such, unless the prisoner had a 60 inch waist. As I recall, the nomenclature used by Peerless was "lead chain" and they made less than a thousand of them; eventually, HCW bought out the remaining stock from Peerless to sell to collectors as a curiosity. What I also find interesting is that it uses the same type of chain as their leg irons, even down to the welding pattern: it flips every two links. I found it very useful at backyard pool parties. Pass the chain around a tree or fencepost, thread the cuff through the ring and then lock up the drunk or bratty kid and have fun squirting them with a garden hose.

As for practical value, it seems having a cuff on both ends of the chain would be more secure. With just that ring, it seems an escape minded prisoner could easily jerk it away from their leader.

Franklin

 
 

Jason
(Login grenchat)

Re: Swing-Through Legiron History

October 22 2013, 2:16 AM 

Fascinating thread!
While I have yet to come across a Peerless cuff attached to a 5' lead chain, I have owned a Smith & Wesson model 90 cuff with said. My impression was that a longer chain was fed through the O-ring, terminating in a padlock on one or both ends. This design I had assumed to be the precursor of the modern day gang chains.

Regards,
Jason


 
 
Franklin
(no login)

Re: Swing-Through Legiron History

October 22 2013, 2:40 AM 

Duhhhhh.

Just realized I had been envisioning it backwards. You get a standard set of handcuffs and thread them through the ring, stick them on the prisoner's wrists and then attach the single end cuff to the leader.

Unlike other Peerless products of the time, that 5 foot ring and cuff thing came with no instructions. I was so focused on the handcuff going on the prisoner I overlooked how the ring was truly meant to be used.

Very effective and cheaper than using a cuff on each end. Also, the ring eliminates the possibility of double cuffs on one wrist, with the keyways facing inwards toward each other that would make unlocking them a real pain.

Franklin

 
 

Jason
(Login grenchat)

Re: Swing-Through Legiron History

October 22 2013, 12:59 PM 

A cursory check with the Discount Handcuff Warehouse reveals both a single and a double CTS Thompson handcuff affixed to a 5' lead chain. The warehouse describes this as a versatile product, that can be used simply as a lead chain, as a belly chain, or as a belly chain connected to leg irons.

Perhaps Chris Patzer could elaborate on the lead chain application.

Happy Collecting!

Jason


 
 
Joseph Fox
(no login)

Peerless/Legiron History

October 22 2013, 1:27 PM 

Gentlemen: Thanks for all of the Peerless information!

Hey, we need to weed-out our above posts into a sepaarte "Peerless History" thread...we got side-tracked, after talking about swing-through Legirons.

I have info. & photos on the proper use of "Lead-Chains"..I will post tomorrow.

 
 
David
(no login)

Re: Swing-Through Legiron History

October 22 2013, 4:42 PM 

Thanks to Franklin, I have this Peerless Lead Chain in the original box serial number 10427. The first lead chain I acquired, is serial number 10011, but without the box.
Chris Gill at Peerless, told me that they manufactured approximately 450 Lead Chains between 1984 and 1993 beginning with serial number 10000 and they sold 367 units. He also stated that between 1990 & 1993, only 8 units were sold.
As Franklin stated, this cuff only has the serial number stamped them. No other markings linking them to Peerless. The cuff is the Model 3, Version 4, left hand cuff only.
Mr. Gill stated that the Lead Chain, serial number 10011, was manufactured on April 19, 1984 and sold to Specialty Products of Glendale, CA.
He stated that Lead Chain, serial number 10427, that he could not find any information of these being sold.
A standard pair of handcuffs placed through the large ring, and placed on the prisoner, and the single cuff on the leader makes sense to me.
Dave

Photos 1-4: Lead Chain # 10427
Photo 5: Lead Chain # 10427 with a standard set of Model 3 Version 4 cuffs through the large ring.
Photo 6: Lead Chain # 10011 showing serial number

[linked image]

[linked image]

[linked image]

[linked image]

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