When you look at a latch, you probably just see a latch. But at HTF Hardware, we see American history. The ironworks industry began in Massachusetts in the 1650s. Prior to that point, the colonies had been forced to import pieces from Europe, but rapid expansion led to an increased demand for metal materials. Imagine for a moment the blacksmith trying to keep up with all of the fastenings needed for everything from the ships that transported settlers to the barrels that stored their food. New construction meant a need for door latches, and the thumb latch was the solution. The thumb latch came in two primary styles: The Norfolk (easily distinguished by the presence of a back plate) and the Suffolk, which used no back plate. These latch designs led to the production of hinges and hasps, and the rest, as they say, is history.
While latch manufacturing might not be as labor-intensive as it was in the seventeenth century, it continues to be a vital industry. With all of this country's developments in electronics and technology over the years, we still haven't found anything that can beat the ingenuity of using metal components to allow two pieces to come together and separate again with ease. Fortunately, one aspect of latches that HAS changed is the cost. A single latch could cost anywhere from $300-$400, making it quite the luxury piece. Today, you can get quality latches at a fraction of the cost while still using the general design principles used by our country's settlers centuries ago.
So, please enjoy the wide variety of latches and locks we have here at HTF Hardware. And as you peruse the various styles and finishes, think about the ingenuity that went into these small parts, allowing millions to complete fastening projects all over the world. We're proud to be a part of continuing that tradition today.