James Sargent

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James Sargent (1824–1910) was an American locksmith and businessman. He founded the Sargent and Greenleaf company.

Sargent was born in Chester, Vermont on December 1, 1824.[1] He married Angelina Foster in 1847; they had one daughter.[2]

In 1865, Sargent established the Sargent and Greenleaf company.[3]

Later in life, he founded the Sargent Automated Railway Signal Company, one of several predecessors of the General Railway Signal company.[4]

Notable innovations[edit]

In 1857 Sargent had designed the Sargent's Magnetic Bank Lock, said to be the first successful key changeable combination lock.

In 1873 Sargent created the first time lock, using parts from eight-day clocks.[4]

In 1880 Sargent connected one of his combination locks to a delay timer, creating the first time-delay combination locks.


  1. ^ Rothschild, Alan; Rothschild, Ann (2015). Make : inventing a better mousetrap : 200 years of American history in the amazing world of patent models. Maker Media, Inc. pp. 49–51. ISBN 1457187140.
  2. ^ "Ill Only Few Hours, James Sargent Dies" (PDF). Democrat and Chronicle. January 13, 1910.
  3. ^ "S&G | About". Sargent and Greenleaf. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Shillling, Donovan (2015). Made in Rochester. Pancoast Publishing. pp. 220–221. ISBN 0983849668.