Two extraordinary men, one a brilliant inventor and the other an astute businessman, forged a partnership in 1927 which led the way for Schlage Lock Company to become the pre-eminent leader in the door hardware industry. These men were Walter Schlage and Charles Kendrick.
Lock Wizard‘s Industrial Experience in America
Walter Reinhold Schlage, sometimes called the "Lock Wizard of Thuringia," referring to the small town in central Germany where he was born, was not only a master mechanic/inventor but also an adventurer. Mr. Schlage's brilliance was recognized early in his life by his father who interceded on his behalf to gain his admittance to the Carl Zeiss Optical Works in Jena at age 14. During the four-year student-apprentice program, Walter Schlage learned drafting, applied mechanics and en
gineering, and received a special award of merit for his scholarship. His desire for adventure, whetted by the world travelers who stayed at his father's hotel in Thuringia, drove him to leave Germany and head for London. There he found work as a scientific instrument maker for Hilger, Ltd. In less than a year, his curiosity about the world persuaded him to book passage for the United States. Once in America, Mr. Schlage became employed at Western Electric Company. His wanderlust was unsated, however, and Walter Schlage soon signed on as an engineer on ships headed for Brazil, the West Indies, and Central America. He eventually worked his way to California, then San Francisco, where he was re-employed by Western Electric Company.
In 1964, Schlage catapulted into the forefront of the door lock industry when the company provided all the locks for the Pan American Building in New York City, the largest commercial office structure in the world at the time. Schlage was acquired by Ingersoll Rand, a Fortune 150 manufacturer of industrial, mining, and construction equipment, in 1974. As a result of the acquisition, Schlage Lock became part of the Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies. Schlage continues to set a new standard in Access Control and Key Systems Management through innovative products and programs that meet and exceed the needs of their customers.
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