South African ?? Leg Irons

Paul Davies
Paul Davies

January 29th, 2018, 3:25 pm #11

In a Post a while back titled Some Hiatt History was the following statement from Mr. H.H. La TROBE in 1975, managing director of Hiatts

"Leg irons have recently been exported by the firm to African Countries and the specification was that they should be supplied with a cold rivet so that the iron could be put on and riveted out in the field. "



The above leg iron is from South Africa and below is shown on Stan's CD attributed to Sth Africa, but no manufacturers name. The one above looks like a cheaper copy of the other because the chain is welded on and the quality not as good.



Obviously these can be locked with a padlock, but couldn't they also be locked with a Cold Rivet of some sort, ie hollow tipped steel rivet or some kind of alloy. You'd either have to carry 2 padlocks with each leg iron or a pocket full of rivets and some kind of tool.

Has anyone got any thoughts about their origin or cold rivets?

paul davies
Since no one has bought these at "Buy Now" You might consider these. I believe they are the Cold Rivet leg Irons sold in Africa by Hiatt. That is my best guess, since there are no other candidates, and others have been bought from Africa in the past.

eBay item number 112781883039
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Anonymous
Anonymous

January 29th, 2018, 6:48 pm #12

In a Post a while back titled Some Hiatt History was the following statement from Mr. H.H. La TROBE in 1975, managing director of Hiatts

"Leg irons have recently been exported by the firm to African Countries and the specification was that they should be supplied with a cold rivet so that the iron could be put on and riveted out in the field. "



The above leg iron is from South Africa and below is shown on Stan's CD attributed to Sth Africa, but no manufacturers name. The one above looks like a cheaper copy of the other because the chain is welded on and the quality not as good.



Obviously these can be locked with a padlock, but couldn't they also be locked with a Cold Rivet of some sort, ie hollow tipped steel rivet or some kind of alloy. You'd either have to carry 2 padlocks with each leg iron or a pocket full of rivets and some kind of tool.

Has anyone got any thoughts about their origin or cold rivets?

paul davies
eBay item number 112781883039??

They're now listed as "Pakistan Prison metal Leg Irons/Shackles" for $50.00


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Tom Gross
Tom Gross

January 30th, 2018, 6:38 am #13

In a Post a while back titled Some Hiatt History was the following statement from Mr. H.H. La TROBE in 1975, managing director of Hiatts

"Leg irons have recently been exported by the firm to African Countries and the specification was that they should be supplied with a cold rivet so that the iron could be put on and riveted out in the field. "



The above leg iron is from South Africa and below is shown on Stan's CD attributed to Sth Africa, but no manufacturers name. The one above looks like a cheaper copy of the other because the chain is welded on and the quality not as good.



Obviously these can be locked with a padlock, but couldn't they also be locked with a Cold Rivet of some sort, ie hollow tipped steel rivet or some kind of alloy. You'd either have to carry 2 padlocks with each leg iron or a pocket full of rivets and some kind of tool.

Has anyone got any thoughts about their origin or cold rivets?

paul davies
These are not Pakistani. They are, in fact, South African, but of relatively modern manufacture. They are probably still being made, for that matter, because they are very sturdy and well made, cheap to manufacture, and totally reliable. The holes are not for rivets, but padlocks. Somehow, I think in the late '80s or early '90s, I came across a South African guy, living in Texas, who was importing stuff and I asked him about shackles. He looked into the matter and began to get for me those South African handcuffs, the surprisingly well made ones with the anchor logo (I can't remember the name and I'm too tired to go digging through boxes). In one shipment he included a couple of sets of these leg irons, which I thought were very cool; crude but very effective. And so I ordered some more, for myself and for friends. I would still be ordering stuff, but one day the guy just disappeared. Maybe, on a trip back home, he got trampled by a rhinoceros.
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Paul Davies
Paul Davies

January 31st, 2018, 12:08 am #14

In a Post a while back titled Some Hiatt History was the following statement from Mr. H.H. La TROBE in 1975, managing director of Hiatts

"Leg irons have recently been exported by the firm to African Countries and the specification was that they should be supplied with a cold rivet so that the iron could be put on and riveted out in the field. "



The above leg iron is from South Africa and below is shown on Stan's CD attributed to Sth Africa, but no manufacturers name. The one above looks like a cheaper copy of the other because the chain is welded on and the quality not as good.



Obviously these can be locked with a padlock, but couldn't they also be locked with a Cold Rivet of some sort, ie hollow tipped steel rivet or some kind of alloy. You'd either have to carry 2 padlocks with each leg iron or a pocket full of rivets and some kind of tool.

Has anyone got any thoughts about their origin or cold rivets?

paul davies
Thanks Tom. At least what you have told us ties in with the fact that Hiatt sold leg irons to South Africa around 1975. Whether you used rivets or padlocks or bolts does not really matter.
I think the jury is still out on who made these and we can agree they are not Pakistani and are sourced mainly from South Africa.
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Tom Gross
Tom Gross

January 31st, 2018, 2:30 am #15

In a Post a while back titled Some Hiatt History was the following statement from Mr. H.H. La TROBE in 1975, managing director of Hiatts

"Leg irons have recently been exported by the firm to African Countries and the specification was that they should be supplied with a cold rivet so that the iron could be put on and riveted out in the field. "



The above leg iron is from South Africa and below is shown on Stan's CD attributed to Sth Africa, but no manufacturers name. The one above looks like a cheaper copy of the other because the chain is welded on and the quality not as good.



Obviously these can be locked with a padlock, but couldn't they also be locked with a Cold Rivet of some sort, ie hollow tipped steel rivet or some kind of alloy. You'd either have to carry 2 padlocks with each leg iron or a pocket full of rivets and some kind of tool.

Has anyone got any thoughts about their origin or cold rivets?

paul davies
I am sorry if my previous comment was ambiguous. This product is very effective, while being very crude and heavy. Exactly the kind of primitive design which would NOT be exported from a highly industrialized country (England) to a less industrialized country (South Africa). Further, this product appeared at exactly the same time that Hiatt had been forced to cease the manufacture of leg irons because of a lot of politically correct bullshit, fed by the scandal-mongering press in England, about oppression and enslavement of indigenous peoples in the third-world. (Thus began the era when Hiatt parts were sent to America, to be assembled into leg irons by Hiatt-Thompson.)

For whatever it is worth, there is no doubt in my mind that these leg irons were made in South Africa, by South Africans and primarily for the use of South Africans. And, yes, they COULD be riveted shut. But why? Is it easier to carry around a couple of padlocks, or to carry around a furnace to heat the rivets and hammers to install them?
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Paul Davies
Paul Davies

January 31st, 2018, 6:23 am #16

In a Post a while back titled Some Hiatt History was the following statement from Mr. H.H. La TROBE in 1975, managing director of Hiatts

"Leg irons have recently been exported by the firm to African Countries and the specification was that they should be supplied with a cold rivet so that the iron could be put on and riveted out in the field. "



The above leg iron is from South Africa and below is shown on Stan's CD attributed to Sth Africa, but no manufacturers name. The one above looks like a cheaper copy of the other because the chain is welded on and the quality not as good.



Obviously these can be locked with a padlock, but couldn't they also be locked with a Cold Rivet of some sort, ie hollow tipped steel rivet or some kind of alloy. You'd either have to carry 2 padlocks with each leg iron or a pocket full of rivets and some kind of tool.

Has anyone got any thoughts about their origin or cold rivets?

paul davies
Hi Tom, do you dismiss the words of Mr La Trobe of Hiatts saying they HAD sent COLD rivet leg irons to Africa? -Straight from the horse mouth. Yes I agree a padlock is better. I do not know of any other modern rivetable leg iron being found in South Africa.

And by what you have said, there is good reason to not stamp their name on them, regardless of any other anti-apartheid trade embargoes. Hiatt are also known to have sent the rare flat key version of the 1960 handcuff to South Africa. That is where they are most commonly found.

Just because you bought some from a guy who got them from SA does not mean they were made in SA. It is the same argument that Thompson Darbies were made in USA because that is where most have been found. A flawed assumption.

Until someone can show me a different rivetable leg iron from SA, preferably with a Hiatt stamp, I will stick to my theory, and I will believe the confessions of Hiatts.

Regards
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maybe not PC
maybe not PC

January 31st, 2018, 7:34 am #17

In a Post a while back titled Some Hiatt History was the following statement from Mr. H.H. La TROBE in 1975, managing director of Hiatts

"Leg irons have recently been exported by the firm to African Countries and the specification was that they should be supplied with a cold rivet so that the iron could be put on and riveted out in the field. "



The above leg iron is from South Africa and below is shown on Stan's CD attributed to Sth Africa, but no manufacturers name. The one above looks like a cheaper copy of the other because the chain is welded on and the quality not as good.



Obviously these can be locked with a padlock, but couldn't they also be locked with a Cold Rivet of some sort, ie hollow tipped steel rivet or some kind of alloy. You'd either have to carry 2 padlocks with each leg iron or a pocket full of rivets and some kind of tool.

Has anyone got any thoughts about their origin or cold rivets?

paul davies
Hi Tom, when is your promised new 'manacles of the world' book coming out?
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Chris Gower
Chris Gower

February 2nd, 2018, 2:55 pm #18

In a Post a while back titled Some Hiatt History was the following statement from Mr. H.H. La TROBE in 1975, managing director of Hiatts

"Leg irons have recently been exported by the firm to African Countries and the specification was that they should be supplied with a cold rivet so that the iron could be put on and riveted out in the field. "



The above leg iron is from South Africa and below is shown on Stan's CD attributed to Sth Africa, but no manufacturers name. The one above looks like a cheaper copy of the other because the chain is welded on and the quality not as good.



Obviously these can be locked with a padlock, but couldn't they also be locked with a Cold Rivet of some sort, ie hollow tipped steel rivet or some kind of alloy. You'd either have to carry 2 padlocks with each leg iron or a pocket full of rivets and some kind of tool.

Has anyone got any thoughts about their origin or cold rivets?

paul davies
I bought a mint set of these back in the early 1980’s and am certain Hiatt never made or sold this model. It was in 1974 when Maurice Stewart and I visited Hiatt and spoke to Harry LaTrobe in detail regarding them introducing and making the Bar handcuffs and Legirons, together with the solid ‘8’ pattern cuffs and LI, he also made us 100 pairs of Irish ‘8’ cuffs and 100 end locks.
Had Hiatt been making the Rivet/padlocking LI I am sure we would have known about it. As it happened the Daily Mirror got hold of the fact Hiatt were selling LI that were being exported and used for torture purposes - hence a few years latter it became illegal to export LI out of the UK. I think what Harry LaTrobe may have said is that Hiatt did export LI that were used in South Africa and was referring to the models they made on the late 1800’s and could been seen in their collection.
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Paul Davies
Paul Davies

February 2nd, 2018, 11:40 pm #19

In a Post a while back titled Some Hiatt History was the following statement from Mr. H.H. La TROBE in 1975, managing director of Hiatts

"Leg irons have recently been exported by the firm to African Countries and the specification was that they should be supplied with a cold rivet so that the iron could be put on and riveted out in the field. "



The above leg iron is from South Africa and below is shown on Stan's CD attributed to Sth Africa, but no manufacturers name. The one above looks like a cheaper copy of the other because the chain is welded on and the quality not as good.



Obviously these can be locked with a padlock, but couldn't they also be locked with a Cold Rivet of some sort, ie hollow tipped steel rivet or some kind of alloy. You'd either have to carry 2 padlocks with each leg iron or a pocket full of rivets and some kind of tool.

Has anyone got any thoughts about their origin or cold rivets?

paul davies
Hi Chris, how do you explain this quote from Harry Latrobe. it seems pretty unambiguous.

"Leg irons have recently been exported by the firm to African Countries and the specification was that they should be supplied with a cold rivet so that the iron could be put on and riveted out in the field. "

These sound like the type of irons to which offence was taken. The rivet were probably an alloy, but may have used padlocks. The problem with padlocks is they they would have hung down with the risk of mud and dirt getting in the keyhole. the other problem with them is the length of the chain. Long enough to shuffle but not walk properly

For those not familiar with the use of rivet leg irons, they were used mainly for punishment, not transport. In the old days they were riveted on for years at a time. They came in different weights and sometimes multiple irons were put on. They had to be sturdy so that they were not damaged when the rivet was struck off. If the person was required to work in them, the chain was long enough to almost reach the waist, with a loop to attach to a belt via a rope etc.

Paul
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Paul Davies
Paul Davies

February 3rd, 2018, 12:02 am #20

In a Post a while back titled Some Hiatt History was the following statement from Mr. H.H. La TROBE in 1975, managing director of Hiatts

"Leg irons have recently been exported by the firm to African Countries and the specification was that they should be supplied with a cold rivet so that the iron could be put on and riveted out in the field. "



The above leg iron is from South Africa and below is shown on Stan's CD attributed to Sth Africa, but no manufacturers name. The one above looks like a cheaper copy of the other because the chain is welded on and the quality not as good.



Obviously these can be locked with a padlock, but couldn't they also be locked with a Cold Rivet of some sort, ie hollow tipped steel rivet or some kind of alloy. You'd either have to carry 2 padlocks with each leg iron or a pocket full of rivets and some kind of tool.

Has anyone got any thoughts about their origin or cold rivets?

paul davies
Hi Chris,
on re reading your post do you mean that Hiatt made the old style, non-adjustable rivet leg iron where one size was supposed to fit all? They were all hand made and I have not seen any modern versions of those. I can't imagine those being supplied. Is it possible that in 1975, the year of the quote, the irons were made after you spoke to him in 1974 and the supply was kept quiet.

I'm not trying to prove anyone wrong or pick a fight, just going by what seems pretty obvious, with the words of Hiatts and the location of these irons. If we could find an ex employee of Hiatts from that era it would be easy to determine.
Regards
Paul
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