Chubb, Charles (DNB00)

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CHUBB, CHARLES (d. 1846), locksmith, started in business at Winchester in the hardware trade, moved thence to Portsea, and afterwards came to London, where he founded the firm of Chubb & Sons, formerly of St. Paul's Churchyard, but now of Queen Victoria Street, E.C. He was the first patentee of improvements in the well-known form of 'detector' locks, originally patented by his brother, Jeremiah Chubb of Portsea, 3 Feb. 1818. Charles Chubb patented further imnrovements in these locks in 1824, 1828, and 1833, and also took out patents for fire and burglar proof safes. He aied at his residence, Bamsburv Road, Islington, 16 May 1845 (see Oent. ^Moff. new ser. 26, 104, 660).

Chubb, John (1816-1872), his son and successor, and patentee of various improvements in Chubb's locks and safes, was elected a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, London, in 1846, and in 1851 read before that body a valuable paper on locks and keys, which also contained lists of all British patents relating thereto, and all communications to the Society of Arts (of which he was a member) on the subject up to that date (Proc. Inst. Civil Engineers, London, vol. ix.) For this he was awarded the Telford silver medal of the institution (ib. vol. xiii.) After working up the business so that it attained the reputation it now possesses, John Chubb died at his residence, Brixton Rise, on 30 Oct. 1872, in his fifty-seventh year (Times, 2 Nov. 1872). At first only two or three men were employed at Portsea in lockmaking, and after Charles Chubb removed to London about a dozen more were so employed down to 1830, when a factory was opened at Wolverhampton which gradually increased until it gave work to two hundred hands. He also started a safe factory in London, where one hundred and fifty hands were subsequently employed in the manufacture of fire and burglar-resisting safes. The two factories are now concentrated in the south of London, in a specially constructed building, fitted with all modern improvements in steam machinery, and capable of accommodating six hundred hands (information supplied by Messrs. Chubb). Nearly a million and a half of patent locks have been made by the firm, and about thirty thousand safes and steel rooms, varying in price from 8l. to just over 6,000l., the latter being the largest ever made for a bank. After the death of John Chubb, the business was converted into a private company, with branches in all the principal cities of Great Britain, India, and the colonies, his three sons, John C. Chubb, George H. Chubb, and Henry W. Chubb, being the three managing directors and patentees of various further improvements in locks and safes.

[Information supplied by Messrs. Chubb & Co., Queen Victoria Street, E.G.; C. Tomlinson, Cyc. Useful Arts, art. 'Locks;' ditto Treatise on Locks in Weale's Series (1833); Proc. Institution of Civil Engineers, London (see Index vol., under 'Chubb'); Exhibition Reports of Juries, various; Patent Office (London) Lists.]

H. M. C.