Since the 19th century, decorative door knobs have been used as small but tasteful additions to kitchens, bathrooms, and bedroom furniture. Where early American colonists used wooden doors and latches, patents were being granted for knobs. This would be the beginning of an entirely new industry of decorative hardware. After the American Revolution, American manufacturing began to include countless products, including door knobs and hardware.
The earliest recorded patent was granted to an American physician Abraham O. Stansbury for a double-acting tumbler lock. This was in 1805, and after this, many other patents were granted—over 100, in fact. Outside of these new knob innovations, most people continued to open doors with wrought-iron thumb latches. Stansbury's lock was improved on by Linus Yale, Sr. in 1848, who was the father of Yale Locks. Around the same time, cast iron knobs were also being used. Spindle knobs were introduced in the late 1800s and during the Great Depression, glass porcelain knobs took over as metal was conserved for the war. In the mid-1800s, china and ceramic knobs were imported from Europe (mainly France and England) and remained a top choice until the early 20th century. As more metal knobs were being used, wooden styles were phased out. These knobs had a main iron or steel body with a veneer of bronze or brass. The true explosion of decorative door knobs occurred after the Centennial Exposition of 1876, where ornate architecture saw a massive revival. Hardware needed to not only be functional, but a decorative complement as well. Today, you'll find door knobs of all materials, from glass and steel to higher-end options like stainless steel and solid brass.
Door knobs have come a long way from the early 19th century, now functioning with smart locks and voice command. For decorative knobs of all materials, Direct Door Hardware is your go-to source. Whether you're looking for pulls, knobs, or other hardware, we can help you create the perfect atmosphere in any room with these small, but crucial details. We carry hundreds of beautiful options that will suit your theme in your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, office, and any other space.