Northampton Historic Preservation Society

Enriching lives through the preservation of historical sites and culture.

Please be patient with the video. It starts slowly at first, but midway in the video it will begin to move quickly.

To see a ca.1932 salesman's sample of a similar type of system that was used at Alcatraz - CLICK HERE.

1914 Northampton County Jail Locking Mechanism 

The cases were opened to view the inner locking mechanisms for three cells.  The jail has 4 sets of these on two floors.  This was "cutting edge" technology for its day. This type of locking mechanism was used about 14 years later at the Indiana jail where John Dillinger escaped and 20 years later at Alcatraz. The last slide at the bottom of the page shows the cell locking controls that would allow for 1, 2 , or 3 cells  to open separately or all at one time. Below Mike Ask and Dr. Garrison Brown examine the closing fixtures.