Antique Door Hardware 1640 to 1740
The first iron works in America was established in Saugus Massachusetts in 1646. Blacksmiths brought to the New World their time–tested styles and applied them to door hardware.The thumb latch was the solution of choice. The thumb latch consists of five parts: the handle, thumb piece, latch bar, guard and striker (or keeper).
Suffolk Thumb Latches
The Suffolk has no back plate. It appears in many patterns such as Tulip, Arrowhead, Ball and Spear, Swordfish, Ball Crescent and Spear, Pine tree, Tobacco Leaf, Bean, Heart, Cocks head, Lyre, fleur de lis and several geographically unique styles.
Norfolk Thumb Latches
The Norfolk also appears in several designs, always distinguished by the presence of a back plate. Blacksmiths artfully carried the latch design themes into other hardware produced at the time, notably hinges, hasps and wagon parts.