Thread Number: 69878  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
50's door knobs
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Post# 928063   3/21/2017 at 11:21 (458 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Flipping a very 50's ranch.  Had been a rental with moderate amount of damage.  Trying to keep in character, and noticed one of the vintage door knobs was damaged.  This was my aunt's house - she lived there for many years- and I always liked the door knobs.  They are kind of  unique, copper and chrome.  One of the bedroom doors is missing the chrome disk from the center of the knob.  when I pulled the worn yellow bathtub out the date on the bottom was 1954, so I'd assume this time frame.  These knobs have survived all these decades and still work well.


Did a search on google, nothing similar showed up.  Does anyone have a source to 50's style door hardware?  When I go over there this afternoon I'll take a picture and post it.


Sad thing is all three bedroom doors, birch with aged patina, are badly damaged.  these renters managed to peel parts of the veneer off. Found a few sources with older doors, hope I can find suitable replacements, really don't want to go the new route.

Post# 928064 , Reply# 1   3/21/2017 at 11:32 (458 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

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Search retro renovation.


Post# 928065 , Reply# 2   3/21/2017 at 11:35 (458 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

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Actually here is the results page after searching "door knobs"


Post# 928072 , Reply# 3   3/21/2017 at 13:14 (458 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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If you have any salvage yards in your area, that's your best bet.  Around here, Urban Ore in Berkeley has a huge assortment, as does Ohmega Salvage.  You might have to drive an hour or two, but you might also find exactly what you need.  I found exact matches for 90 year old knobs (actually, the entire lock assembly with both knobs) in my house and paid less than $10 for them.


If you could post a picture here, that would help us keep an eye out, although I assume you're on a tight schedule.

Post# 928178 , Reply# 4   3/22/2017 at 02:43 (457 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Grabbed a couple of shots this afternoon.  They are Weiser locks.


Wow, these look quite similar...


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Post# 928179 , Reply# 5   3/22/2017 at 03:01 (457 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Wow, found a listing on ebay, but it's sold.....




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Post# 928270 , Reply# 6   3/22/2017 at 13:42 (457 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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That's more or less what I was visualizing.  I'll keep an eye out.  Suburbia was sprawling out in all directions around here in the mid '50s.


I have one knob that's somewhat similar, but it's just a passage type, all copper, and mid-'60s vintage.  I got it from someone who was changing out all of their home's original hardware and am using it on the door to the pantry that was added on here during that same period.

Post# 928315 , Reply# 7   3/22/2017 at 17:42 (457 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Matt, I had a knob like the one in the picture on a door in my basement. I think I took it off before getting rid of the door, but not sure if I kept it, or gave it to the church sale. I will try to see if I still have it, and you're welcome to it if I find it. I'll try to look Sat. when I get the time.

Post# 929460 , Reply# 8   3/28/2017 at 18:29 (451 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Hey Matt, I went and looked in a couple places, but didn't find it. I have things stored in another part of the basement, but the electric isn't connected yet in that section of the house. When I have the time I'll get out an extension cord and portable light, and go in there and look.

Post# 929463 , Reply# 9   3/28/2017 at 18:45 (451 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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This is the kind I have at home but most have a different finish. One of the bedroom doors has a key lock and the inner bathroom knobs are chrome.

I got a spare one for closets for $1 at a local thrift store but the copper on that one is in pretty bad shape (the last two pics).

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Post# 929504 , Reply# 10   3/29/2017 at 00:32 (450 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Tom, thanks, appreciate the effort.  It's not a high priority at the moment, little finish things will wait until the end.  Things have been moving a bit slow, or at least I am.  I'm sure I'll get into the big push mode toward the middle of April.

Post# 929505 , Reply# 11   3/29/2017 at 00:38 (450 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Phil I really like the chrome knobs!


Funny thing.  When I was researching the knob issue, I came across any number of comments on how weird, odd and strange that  when people were working on their older houses they found "mismatched" knobs in all the bathrooms...  Young folks think it was weird to have one side brass but the other chrome.  Quite honestly that is the way it should be - match the fixtures.  I do not think you can find a combination knob of that kind anymore.  I have gone so far as buying 2 knobs just to get the right finish on each side, but I can be a bit picky on certain things.

Post# 929506 , Reply# 12   3/29/2017 at 01:56 (450 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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My 90 year old Schlage locks for all three bathrooms have "crystal" knobs on the outside and white milk glass knobs on the bathroom side.    I don't know why manufacturers these days think brass will coordinate with anything in the typical bathroom.

Post# 929547 , Reply# 13   3/29/2017 at 10:43 (450 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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Chrome knobs were common for bathroom doors, that's also how it was at my parent's house that was built in 1975 with the newer Weiser knobs (the kind that's still available). The inner bathroom knob had a chrome insert and the other ones had copper finish inserts.

This ad shows a set of the newer style I'm talking about and you can spot on the lower right corner the one for the bathroom.

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Post# 929625 , Reply# 14   3/29/2017 at 21:23 (449 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

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Interesting the ones in pics 3-5 look alot like the ones here, they are Schlage brand. They are all that coppery finish except the bathroom knob and hinges are chrome.

The original exterior knobs were Weiser brand, and had a clear acrylic knob with yellow pattern inside, and pushed in and turned to lock.

This house was built in 1976.

Post# 929721 , Reply# 15   3/30/2017 at 14:23 (449 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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I decided to take pix of a bathroom knob here.  Not only is the bathroom side milk glass, but the escutcheon is (I'm guessing) nickel instead of brass.  Unfortunately, the brass escutcheon on the crystal side was spray painted at some point long ago.  The two others here haven't been painted and have a brown-ish patina.

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Post# 929765 , Reply# 16   3/30/2017 at 20:09 (449 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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That's a really nice looking door knob Ralph, thanks for posting a picture, I don't recall seeing anything like it.

Post# 929781 , Reply# 17   3/30/2017 at 21:21 (449 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
Old Schlage Lock Sets

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They're somewhat common around here in older homes.  Some houses use them on all interior doors and not just bathrooms.  I've been able to find them in salvage yards for $5 or $10.  After 90 years, whatever adhesive material was used to keep the crystal/glass knobs in place broke down on a couple of mine and all they did was spin.  It's like they were pressed into place and there's no way to re-glue, so had to make a couple of runs up to Urban Ore to find replacements.


Phil, those are nice lock sets in your house, too.  I've always liked those push-and-turn-to-lock mechanisms. 

This post was last edited 03/30/2017 at 22:19

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