Glass door knob dating
Right off the bat, a quick glance at the door panel arrangement will usually get you within 10 or 15 years of the construction date.For example, very tall doors with pairs of narrow vertical panels are a dead giveaway to Victorian-era work, yielding a construction date between 18.
Like most parlor tricks, this one is easy to explain.
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If the door has a mortise lock (evidenced by a tall, skinny plate in the door edge and doorknobs fastened to a square shaft by setscrews), the house almost certainly predates 1925, although such locks were still used in basement rooms and garages for another decade or two.
On the other hand, doors with just a small rectangular latch plate in the door edge invariably mean the house postdates 1920 — the year when Walter Schlage invented the easier-to-install cylindrical lockset that quickly drove the mortise lock off the market. Mortise locksets with ornate metal or glass knobs suggest late 19th-century construction dates, while those with plain white, brown or black glass knobs are more typical of early 20th-century houses.
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