The history behind the relic
We often find barely recognizable relics when metal detecting. It is important (if you like relics that is) to bring all this rusty gold home with you. The reason is that you never know what you might find underneath all that rust.
Take for instance our latest hunt. I found this padlock that was really encrusted in rust. But the shape of the relic and the location I found it in told me that it probably had some age to it. For items like that the fun starts at home. The first thing I do is scrub the item with a steal brush to take some of the surface rust of it. In the case it didn’t really make any impact.
Then the next step in the process is either using electrolysis to remove rust or use a rust removing liquid like Metal Rescue. I use Metal Rescue often for relics made out of thin sheet metal or if they have light surface rust. This lock needed more than that, so I used electrolysis to remove the rust. For an item like that it takes about 8 to 10 hours.
As you can see it really cleaned up. I used a steel brush on a drill to remove the last bit of surface rust and then use conservator’s wax to bring out the details. After this treatment the fun starts. Trying to find out what type of lock it is.
In the middle of the lock is a symbol with the letters F-S. After my research assistant (Google) told me that the F-S stands for the Fraim-Slaymaker Hardware Co. I was closing in on what it could be. The next search bear fruit and I found out that it is a spare tire lock.
The next step is trying to date the lock. I lucked out as the history of the Fraim-Slaymaker Hardware company tells me that this lock was produced somewhere between 1921 and 1930. In 1921 mister W.E. Fraim bought the majority of the shares in the Slaymaker Lock Company and changed the name into the Fraim-Slaymaker Hardware Company. It was sort off a hostile take over.
By the 1930’s mister S.R. Slaymaker had saved up his pennies and bought control back of the company and changed the name back to Slaymaker lock company. He passed the company on to his sons. In 1973 the Slaymaker Lock Company was sold to the American Home Products Corporation and made part of Ecko Housewares Division. In the 1980s the lock company suffered because the market had been flooded with cheap padlocks and the Slaymaker Lock Company was losing money. By 1986 the company officially decided to cash out and the company closed its doors at the manufacturing plant.
I always try to find a picture of a relic that shows what it looked like when it was in working order and to show what parts are missing (if the relic is incomplete). I found an auction site that is selling a complete tire lock.
To me, it is not only about finding a relic, but it is also about the history of the item. Now I can proudly display it in my collection and if somebody asks what it is I can show them the history behind the relic.
If you want to see us find the relic watch the video below