Recently Kathleen and I hit up a yard sale and came home with a wickedly cool Antique Steel Locker. I want to say our locker’s age is somewhere between the 30’s and 50’s. Probably closer to 1930’s based on the handle and some research I did. It is a single standing locker, so it looks great next to all our workout gear. We also have a website called EndTheTrendNow.com where we do product reviews. Doing reviews means we get a lot of workout gear from various manufactures. The locker is perfect for putting some of the smaller items away.
As you may know, well maybe not, but you might be able guess if you have read many of my posts, I absolutely love MAN things. I am talking early century stuff made out of steel and metal and made right here in the US. Things that are heavy and clunky, but totally cool. Back before we shipped manufacturing to China and abroad, the US was the king at producing fantastic products. Well fast forward to the here and now and you will find constantly scanning for old MANLY stuff like staplers, stamp affixers and whatever else seems cool. I have always wanted a antique or vintage steel locker. I am not exactly sure why I am drawn to metal lockers, maybe because I never had a really bad experience around my school or gym locker. Maybe it brings back memories of my youth. Maybe because all the home type magazines I see with metal lockers in them look so cool and modern. Well what ever it was, I knew I wanted one and was lucky to find one with my wife Kathleen at a yard sale.
Yard sales always seem to be a bust for us, well most yard sales that is. Occasionally though you will find a yard sale that is amazing with all sorts of great finds. Today was one of those days.
Before getting to the yard sale, we hit up an estate sale and walked away empty handed. That is always disappointing when you find absolutely nothing at an estate sale, even if you don’t plan on buying, but just looking. It is always nice to find at least something that sparks your interest. Well after the estate sale there was a garage sale that looked interesting. It was basically a garage/moving away sale and it had loads of cool stuff. What really stuck out however was the guy who lived there and his old blue Ford Truck in the driveway. He was wearing a funny furry hat with eyes. We weren’t sure how to judge him at first, but that aside there were so many MAN things being sold, he just had to be cool. Fun retro chairs, lots of cabinets and a really cool antique steel locker Kathleen found. Yep that was what really sparked my interest. We asked him how much would he sell it for and he said he didn’t want to sell it. He was moving and was going to use it at his new place. Our hearts sunk and we walked away. Kathleen was sure he wasn’t going to sell it after what he had said, but I thought…just maybe….just maybe if I threw out a good price he would take it. We walked around the place a little bit and Kathleen spied another cool find. A medical cabinet. He said “Hey you guys interested in that for $150?” We said we will have to think about it. It was something Kathleen has been looking for. He then tried to sweeten the deal by throwing in some other metal cabinet, but it was a little too big for our 1-1 apartment.
Eventually I told Kathleen that I wanted to offer $200 for the school locker. She didn’t think he would go for it, but said swing away or something like that. I offered him $200 for the school locker and he said that was too high *Shock*. He said how about $175. I felt like we were on an episode of American Pickers. Our emotions were all over the place. $175, HECK YEAH we were interested and wanted the locker. He then said, how about $220 for the school locker and the medical cabinet. DEAL! I could just hear Mike and Frank voices in the background, oh man I wish we could have been there picking with you guys.
After the deal was made we had a blast talking to him and learning about some of what he does. We went up to his loft and he showed us all sorts of other things that he had collected over the years. He surfs, paints, collects metal and of course collects antiques. Going to garage and estate sales you get to meet interesting people you normally wouldn’t meet and have fun doing it.
Out of the many antiques we have found, I can’t imagine any of them that have better stories to tell than a gym or school locker. I mean come on, these things were probably in schools and gyms and some may have been used by presidents, movie stars and other famous and types before they even knew they were destined to be in the public eye.
Our antique steel locker was probably a typical school locker of the times. At some point, through an update to the school’s interior, the old lockers were thrown out and replaced by newer ones. Of course those couldn’t have been as cool. There is a name tag on it that says it was produced by Lyon Metal Products Incorporated (Durand Type)
I did a little history search and found that the Lyon name came from Lyon Metal Products, which was started in 1901 by Beverly Lyon Waters. About a year after starting Beverly hired on his brother Frank known as F.S. In 1924 Lyon Metal Products started going after the office market and made their first office storage cabinets. In 1928 Lyon merged with a competitor Durand Steel Locker Company of Chicago. After the merger Lyon Metal Products became Lyon Metal Products, Inc. So based on all this historical data, I can assume that our locker was made after 1928 since it has a tag with both Lyon Metal Products, Inc and the Durand Type name.
When looking for Antique Steel Lockers you can use search terms like Vintage School Locker, Antique Gym Locker, Metal Gym Locker, Antique Metal Locker and so on. Prices can run the gambit from $50 to $2000 depending on age, condition and size. I did a quick search on Google, Ebay and Etsy and couldn’t find a single locker that looked like ours.
Here are a few links we found that have some interesting pictures of Antique and Metal Lockers