Blacksmithing - Old Faithful Inn Front Door

   The Old Failthful Inn in Yellowstone National Park was started in the Winter of 1903/1904 and the blacksmith work started in the main hall fire place. The blacksmith was George W. Colpitts. More info is in the links.

Video of Door ~10 MB 2.1 Minutes
This video is of the front door to the Old Faithful Inn.

The 3"-4" thick door is held together with several dozen rivets with 1.5" heads. The hinges are huge and wrapped around the massive post that form the frame. The major feature for me was on the left side (shown second). On the inside of the door is a 2 tone door bell. The actuator is missing, but the clapper operates in the "cocking" mechaism and the chime really sounded great. I regret that I did not get the sound on the video.

There was a hole through the door near the sear, which apparently lead a "trigger" linkage to the sear.

Inn History (More)
Inn History Centennial
Inn History Centennial (Another Article) Page 12 - A neat Story About the Clock

Below are clips from the video (above). They are of the major componenets of the door with most detail of the chime, which is the most unique hardware. If you have any information to add, please e-mail me. I am interested in anything about this door chime or similar hardware.

Note that the chime is two spirals. The larger one is attached to the bracket on the door and the smaller spiral is atached to the larger via what appears to be a square headed bolt. The two tone chime suggests a very progressive style. From talking with the blacksmith who refurbished the door some years ago, the "rivets" are lag blots with collars swaged and welded to the heads. Futher the door accuator was left off to avoid the chime being rung some 100,000 times a day by guests. From one of the Reindhart articles (link above) the acutator was at least a cord through the door.


Chime front view

Chime side view

Chime top view


Front View of the Sear and Chime (spirals)


Sear spring and gaurd

Curtain rod end, near front door

Top hinge

Key - 15" Long.

Bottom hinge and steam radiator

Bottom latch

Bottom latch and hinge

Dead bolt

Lock section

Inside port and main latch

Outised Port

Hinge and top latch

Drawing Legend

a. Clapper
b. Gaurd
c. Spring ... not sure what it actual did, since the acuator is missing
d. Sear Support
e. Sear (hold the clapper "cocked" and releases if to ring the chime.)
f. Hole for accuator, with an iron bushing. Accutaor was probably a cord.
g. Support for Chime
h. Large Chime
i. Small Chime

Last Updated: 2004.09.22 - - 2000-2007
Comments to: Tom Essary -
Member - North Texas Blacksmiths Assoc. and ABANA