Von Duprin

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Von Duprin, Inc.
IndustrySecurity hardware manufacturing
HeadquartersCarmel, Indiana
ProductsDoor exit hardware and programmable access control products and systems.

Von Duprin is a brand of security products. It was the producer of the first "panic bar" style door mechanism that allows a door to a public building to be locked from the outside but still easy to exit from the inside.[1]


In 1903 the Iroquois Theatre Fire in Chicago claimed the lives of almost 600 people. Carl Prinzler was supposed to attend a show at the theatre that fateful day, however, other business dealings called him elsewhere. In this era, it was common for theatres and the like to lock interior and exterior doors to prevent non-paying persons from entering. This also inhibited persons on the inside from exiting. This was the case during the Iroquois Theatre Fire. All doors were locked and/or bolted which prevented patrons from exiting, causing most to be burned alive or succumb to smoke inhalation.

Prinzler was astounded at the enormous and senseless loss of life that night. He sought a way for doors into public facilities to be locked from the outside, but to allow egress from the inside with minimal effort during an emergency. Prinzler tapped into the architectural engineering abilities of Henry H. DuPont to develop a product. In 1908 the first model of a "panic bar" style egress device was released and Vonnegut Hardware Company was utilized to market it. Owing to the joint effort to develop and sell the product, it was sold under the name Von Duprin, a combination of the names Vonnegut, DuPont and Prinzler.

The popular 88 Series crossbar exit devices still manufactured by Von Duprin look similar to the original design, although significant engineering changes have been made.[1]

Von Duprin continues to manufacture security related products and is a brand of Allegion plc.


  1. ^ a b About Us, Von Duprin Website

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