Eugene Blount and the Modern Door Closer

Eugene Blount's "door check".

Eugene Blount’s “door check”.

On July 9, 1889, Eugene Blount, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, was issued a patent for his “door check” device. Door checks, or what we now call door closers, are a type of door hardware that controls doors, either by closing them after they have been opened and/or preventing from opening too quickly and with too much force. Door checks had been invented and in use long before Blount’s patent but Blount’s patent is noteworthy because it was the door check designed to utilize a liquid, glycerin in this case, in conjunction with pistons to control a door. This design would ultimately become the basis for the modern day door closer, which uses hydraulic fluid and valves alongside a gear rack and pinion.

Originally patented under the Blount Manufacturing Company name, Eugene would later create the Worcester Blount Door Closer Company to sell his new device. In 1930, the company was sold to the nearby Independent Lock Company (Ilco), who took Blount’s designs and spent the next 2 decades improving them.

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