The Lock On the Stall Door

Earlier today I spent some time considering the shape and layout of this common lock on a common stall in a common public restroom. I wonder who developed this and why they chose a diamond shaped base as opposed to a rectangle or a square.

I am not an engineer, but I cannot see any structural advantage this way. If you really look at this you can see that there are many pieces that combine to make one unit. Based upon a rough guest I would estimate that there are at least there are somewhere between eight to ten separate and distinct pieces. I suspect that the manufacturer makes most of the parts, at least I would expect that they would, but maybe not.

There could be more than a couple of companies that do the machining and shaping of the metal into the appropriate pieces. This simple locking device might possibly be the result of the efforts of hundreds of employees, or it might be made by two or three employees of some third world sweatshop.

And there you have a few of the thoughts that crossed my mind. The world is full of interesting things, all you have to do is look.


Anonymous said...

It looks to me like the diamond shape was chosen to save on the expense of screws. Only two screws need to hold the diamond securely in place.

Jack Steiner said...


Thus far that is as good as any answer I have thought of.

Anonymous said...

Scary, I've thought about this many times as well. I came to the same conclusion as anonymous. More surface area for the base plate with the least amount of screws.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

That post proves to me the old maxim that the best thoughts come upon us when we are sitting in the bog.

Jack Steiner said...


Great minds think alike.



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