Les Logan — E.F. Johnson — Wm. M. Nye
One of the problems in buying older keys from
random sellers is the lack of provenance of the key. Over time, people
mix-and-match components to get a working key. In general I think this
is a matter of practicality and not an attempt to deceive. Caveat
The keys on this page all seem to me to be Speed-X keys. Some of them are marked Speed-X, some not. Some have the manufaturer's name cast into the frame, some not. There is a casting code that appears throughout the rectangular keys. It is either "H–15.681" or "H15.681" (dash after the H, or not). I have not seen a Nye key with the dash, so I assume keys with the dash were made by E.F. Johnson. You can use Google to find information about the various manufacturer's of Speed-X keys.
(Click on the pictures to see larger images.)
It's marked Speed-X on the lever and the frame, but the lever looks as if it came from an oval key. Who knows?
No markings anywhere. Maybe a Les Logan?
Black, Brass Fittings
E.F. Johnson model 114-320 according to the box that came with it. Note the casting mark on the bottom: it starts H–15.
Chrome, Nickel Fittings
Speed-X on the lever but not on the frame. The bottom casting is consistent with what I'm calling E.F. Johnson keys.
E.F. Johnson Nickel
Nye's model number for this key is 310-003. Note the anvil (lower contact) raised with a stirrup.
To quote Tom French at artifaxbooks.com, "Long discontinued and now collectible, this "Master Key" has its contacts in the heavy cast base..."
Super Squeeze Key
Nye's model number for this key is SSK-001. Gold contacts, never needs adjusting, perfect for mobile operation. No longer made.