New Fred Locke U-639 (? ) variation

By Mike Spadafora; posted August 1, 2017

View Original (2494 x 963) 327KB


A new variation on the U-639 has surfaced . The piece in the centre seems to be an intermediate evolutionary stage from the U-639 to the popular U-648 . Robin Harrison brought this piece over to my house yesterday to compare to others in my collection. It has marking #1-2 which dates the piece to 1902-03 . All of the "normal" U-639's have marking 1-6 which dates them to 1900-1901 production . As most of you know the entire Locke factory complex burned to the ground at the end of 1901 destroying most of the mould patterns etc . So the new piece pictured here must have been a new pattern recreated after the fire . This green trimmed stile was very short lived ... maybe produced only in the spring of 1902 and was soon replaced with the U-648 . Fred Locke was eliminating most "green trimmed" stiles and non-gutter top units with applied crowns at the beginning of 1902 to speed up production . As you can see Robin's insulator has a taller profile larger crown and larger side and top grooves then the older pre-factory fire U-639 and really looks overall more like a U-648 with an alternative crown design.