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Jordan Baker 12-04-20 02:11

Corbin padlocks
5 Attachment(s)
Thought I would create a new post dedicated to the Corbin padlocks that were found on Canadian vehicles from the Second World War.

The civilian box has a set of 10 matched locks with the chain keepers. Each lock came individually wrapped in paper packing. In the bottom of the box was a quality control card in both English and French.

Jordan Baker 12-04-20 02:14

3 Attachment(s)
Detail pictures of the locks and keys. The keys are stamped with a 3 digit number denoting what the lock is keyed for. However the locks themselves are not marked.

Ed Storey 12-04-20 02:14

Corbin Padlocks
Nice photographs of the locks, thanks for posting them.

David Dunlop 12-04-20 02:40

Wow, Jordan!

This is fascinating, though somewhat scary, information.

Four locks. Four different keys, even though they have the same three character alpha prefix. If this was common practise on the CMP, and other MV's side of things, these locks may have been tossed by the thousands by frustrated crew. Imagine, for example, a FAT crew with all the lockers on the vehicle. Somebody in the crew has to be in charge of a wad of keys, and how do you possibly remember which keys go where at the best of times, never mind when you and your vehicle are covered in mud, its freezing cold and somebody is trying very hard to kill you? I must pay closer attention from now on to wartime in theatre photos of CMPs to see if I can tell how many are rolling with padlocks on the various lockers.

And while I think of it, weren't the various wooden gun chests fitted with swivel latches for padlocks? It must have been an absolute nightmare in the field.

CMC is starting to look very smart now, going with a standard key code for all 52-Sets. The trick for me now will be to find an original pair of wartime Canadian Corbin Key Blanks. "Good Luck with that!" he mutters as he heads back to the beer fridge.

This thread is a real eye opener!

Thanks, Jordan!


Bruce Parker 12-04-20 04:03

Corbin made two very similar sizes. One had a body width of 1-1/2" and the other slightly larger at 1-3/4". Jordan, I assume these military ones are the 1-1/2" ones?

The Canadian ones are marked Made in Canada and do show up in antique stores but not that often (in my experience). However Corbin in the USA made them for the civilian market and if you can live with "MADE IN USA" on them they are available.

When I worked in Belleville in the late 1980's the Corbin plant was still there, a massive complex full of red brick buildings just west of the downtown core on the Moira River. It was in its death throws and was demolished soon afterwards.

Lynn Eades 12-04-20 09:46

David, They may have been required on the CES, but once on active service, I believe the keys and padlocks would have been quickly "lost", for the reasons you have stated. If you look at Carriers as an example, how many are carrying a full set of tools on the tool board. The use of the straps and brackets fitted originally were a "one time" use because they were too difficult to use. There was a big difference between "the planning" and "the practice" in my opinion.

David Dunlop 12-04-20 14:23

True enough, Lynn.

Something else just occurred to me as well, regarding wartime photos. If you see one or more vehicles loaded to overflow with tools and kit all over and maybe even locks in place, maybe they are fresh new arrivals, or packed because the unit is on the move to a new location. Once relocated, everybody goes lean and mean for combat again.


I was not aware the same style padlock came in two sizes, but that now explains why the keys Jordan has also show up in a slightly longer length.


Lynn Eades 12-04-20 22:02

Individual keying is quite a different approach when you consider the QMC (USA) had one standard (H700) key for its whole fleet. That is all jeeps, trucks, spare wheel padlocks, the lot and later they even did away with the key in favour of a permanent lever, as far as ignition switches went.

Lynn Eades 12-04-20 22:32

David, I have no real knowledge of war time systems but I know that as a soldier individuals were responsible for their kit and were held accountable for any losses. There were stores that were "A" class stores that any loss constituted a court martial.
In a combat zone the rules changed dramatically and the stores delivered to those on the front were generally "written off" on arrival. I have heard stories from old soldiers from both sides of the counter in the RQMS's store. Some of the accounting rules will ever remain unwritten.

Jordan Baker 23-04-20 23:25

1 Attachment(s)
Canít say if it a Corbin but it is locked.

Bruce Parker 23-04-20 23:31

I like the S&W Victory tucked in his battledress.

David Dunlop 23-04-20 23:57

Hopefully that’s not where he’s locked up the ammunition.

I wonder if that is a WIRE-3 he’d leaning up against?


m606paz 22-10-20 15:39

What is the size of this Corbin Padlocks to search some similar??
Thanks in advance!

rob love 22-10-20 17:05

LWD parts has originals. The price has crept up over the years (but what hasn't).
Set of 10:

Harry Moon 22-10-20 17:58

I got a set of 10, about 20 years ago from LWD. So far both trucks and the lynx all keyed alike. Handy!

Bruce Parker 22-10-20 18:16

1 Attachment(s)
But what size? Perhaps Harry or Jordan can answer. There are two Corbin lock sizes of the correct type and because they are proportional to each other it's hard to tell. I have an original khaki painted one made in Canada of the smaller size but the rest are made in the USA civilian ones.

Widths are 1-1/2" and 1-3/4".

m606paz 22-10-20 19:24

Thank you Bruce.
These widths are good to know how buy.

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