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Articulated Bow Darby Leg Iron

May 9 2017 at 4:02 AM
Paul Davies  (no login)

I don't know how many of these are around. One appeared on a CD catalog, which is the lighter of the photos here. I hope no one minds me posting it here. The other darker one is mine. They are pretty much identical. The lock tube appears to be cast and the rest is blacksmith made. I guess there were quite a few made, but the poor design and light weight construction might have limited there use and survival. I think these are very early made leg irons made before the design was perfected. Some of my Hiatt keys will open them, but because the lock tube is so short, I do have to pull on the key another 2mm. There is no indication of who made them, no numbers, nothing, but I think they are English.

Paul

[linked image].html
[linked image].html

 
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Paul Davies
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Re: Articulated Bow Darby Leg Iron

May 9 2017, 4:06 AM 

[linked image]
[linked image].html

 
 
Paul Davies
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Re: Articulated Bow Darby Leg Iron

May 9 2017, 4:09 AM 

Ok at least I got my photo up. You get the idea.
Any thoughts that might add to, or are contrary to mine?
Paul

 
 
darby fan
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Re: Articulated Bow Darby Leg Iron

May 9 2017, 7:01 AM 

my theory is that using existing cast locks, end lock or handcuff locks, leg irons can be made without the need for a longer lock.

 
 
Paul Davies
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Re: Articulated Bow Darby Leg Iron

May 9 2017, 8:10 AM 

I agree with your theory in principal. These locks are about the same length as an End Lock but twice as thick, also shorter and thicker than a handcuff. There is nothing similar that I know of.
The quality of manufacture is good enough, but the bows are thin, flat on the outside, rounded on the inside. The second hinge makes them less rigid. I'm sure, over time, you could break them with a rock just by ovaling and rounding them over and over until a hinge seam separated etc. But I'm not going to try it!

 
 
Chris Gower
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double hinged LI

May 10 2017, 2:07 PM 

I can not really add much to what has already been said. I did have a pair which I think are illustrated in Alex's book. Mine were slightly different as the lock case was a standard handcuff size. They did not have any makers name visible, I traded these with a US collector about 18 years ago. I also had a different pattern which had a round bar connecting the two parts of the cuffs, these came from Christchurch Police Station in Dorset many years ago. They are now in a private collection over here in the UK. The owner has had them nickel plated!!
Chris

 
 
Paul Davies
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Re: Articulated Bow Darby Leg Iron

May 10 2017, 7:11 PM 

I believe this is the other similar leg iron. Hopefully Photobucket is working this time.
[linked image]

 
 
cheap trick
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Re: Articulated Bow Darby Leg Iron

May 11 2017, 8:04 AM 

are the locks for these always (only) backstrap types?

 
 
Paul Davies
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Re: Articulated Bow Darby Leg Iron

May 12 2017, 5:10 AM 

I've only see 2 or 3 and they have been identical. Chris mentions another which I have not seen. My guess is that most very early darby leg/handcuffs had backstrap hinges. Later cuffs, circa WW2, had hinges that looked similar but were cast.
Paul

 
 
cheaper trick than one
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Re: Articulated Bow Darby Leg Iron

May 12 2017, 6:37 AM 

theory 2 The locks being the only real complex part (sand cast, threaded bolts and coil springs and keys) were purchased from fetters maker. Local blacksmiths made suit sized irons and attached the locks.

 
 
undertaker
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Re: Articulated Bow Darby Leg Iron

May 15 2017, 5:00 AM 

this thread died quickly

 
 
The Dr.
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Re: Articulated Bow Darby Leg Iron

May 15 2017, 1:43 PM 

no, you give it more life and I supplied some life support

 
 
 
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