20210624 Hinges

My father worked in construction. He had his own company that my great-grandfather set up together with my grandfather in 1932. They imported locks and hinges and new types of windows and door closers. Everything you need for doors and windows. That’s one of the reasons my father didn’t like our house. He thought it beneath his dignity that his son was living in such a shitty house with such shitty locks and hinges. So, when he saw that we were going ahead with buying the house, he graciously offered to replace all locks and hinges on the front and back door and the door to the shed and alley. It’s really nice to have just one key for all those doors instead of all the different keys we got when we bought the house. And of course my father installed the best of the best he had to offer. The locks and hinges and door knobs of those doors are top notch and stand in stark contrast to the crappy door knobs and escutcheons on the doors inside the house. One special thing are the hinges he installed. They are of our own family brand. My grandfather started with that. He was quite technical and designed new types of locks and hinges and sold them under our own brand. Before my father retired and sold his company he had this idea for a revolutionary new type of hinge that was manufactured by using laser welding. Nobody had done that before in those days. I’m talking about the Nineties here. But making them proved quite difficult. He worked with different manufacturing companies but it took him years and tons of money to refine the process. And when he finally had a good product he had a heart attack and sold the company. The new owners had no interest in his invention and he tried to find a new partner for the hinges, but he found none. Most found the new hinges quite nice, but they were too expensive and they didn’t really see a big market fort hem. So my father lost a fortune on those hinges and he was left with lots of boxes of them he couldn’t find a buyer for. He was proud of what he had achieved, but deeply troubled by all the money he had lost. Seeing all those boxes with the finished product and knowing he could not find a market fort hem caused enormous stress and he finally hid those boxes in the cellar. He was a bitter man the last couple of years of his life and I have mixed feelings when I see those hinges on my doors. My house might be crappy, but it has laser welded hinges that are unique in the world and they have my own family crest etched onto them. Who can say that? But they are also a constant reminder of my father’s struggle and those last, unhappy years of his life.

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