YES! Name a New Visitacion Valley Park After Walter R Schlage!

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Yes! I support the naming of a new Visitacion Valley park after Walter R. Schlage to honor his innovations and for the important role that the Schlage Lock Company played in Visitacion Valley’s history.

As part of the larger Schlage Lock/Visitacion Valley project, a private developer is going to build two new public parks on the former Schlage Lock site. San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Department (RPD) will purchase and maintain these parks when they are completed. The parks are currently being designed by RPD with input from the Visitacion Valley community.
This petition asks for your support for the naming of one park after Walter R. Schlage to honor his innovations and for the important role that the Schlage Lock Company played in Visitacion Valley’s history.

Thank You for your support!  The Visitacion Valley History Project

     Walter Reinhold Schlage (died 1946) was a German-born engineer and inventor. Known as the Lock Wizard of Thuringia, he is best known for the bored cylindrical lock and the lock company that bears his name, Schlage Lock Co.
     Early on in his life, his father recognized his aptitude for mechanics and academics and worked on his behalf to have his son admitted to the Carl Zeiss Optical Works in Jena, Germany. During his apprenticeship, Schlage learned drafting, applied mechanics and engineering. After four years, he graduated with a special award of merit, as a result of his applied scholarship.
     Walter developed a sense of adventure whetted by guests that stayed in his father's hotel, in Thuringia, Germany. Following his training he left Germany for London where he worked as an instrument maker for Hileger, Ltd. Lasting a year in England, he emigrated to the United States where he gained employment with the Western Electric Company.With a continuing desire to see the world however, Schlage signed on as a ship's engineer and sailed for Brazil, the West Indies, and Central America. Eventually, Schlage worked his way to California and San Francisco, where Western Electric Company again employed him.
     His first patent was in 1909, inventing a door lock that turned lights on and off. In 1910, Schlage patented a door handle with a button which when pushed locked the door.Leaving employment with Western Electric Company in 1920, Schlage opened a shop in San Francisco in the present-day financial district. The Schlage Lock Company was incorporated with a starting capital of $30. In the same year, he applied for a patent for a lock that could be drilled into a door with only two holes. This new cylindrical lock had a small, round backplate and a separate keyhole plate. It was mostly used on interior doors, where it replaced the older Mortise lock.
     Schlage's new company grew quickly and into larger facilities throughout the 1920s. The company was manufacturing 20,000 locks per month in 1925. In 1927, Schlage partnered with a San Francisco businessman and financier, Charles Kendrick. In 1940, Schlage was awarded the Modern Pioneer award given to outstanding American inventors.   Schlage died in 1946.

 



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