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A History of Peerless Handcuff Company

Peerless Handcuffs Peerless® Handcuff Company was established in 1914 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Over eighty years later, the classic swing through design of the original Peerless® handcuff, continues to be the industry standard.

The company founder, James Milton Gill, was a businessman and Police Commissioner for the City of Springfield. He was approached by an inventor named George Carney. Carney''s swing through handcuff invention would revolutionize the industry. His innovative design was relatively light weight and easy to carry. Unlike other restraint devices of the time, the Carney design could be quickly applied with one hand. The combination of the light weight and ease of use greatly increased officer safety.

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    "Guardians of the Law - Stop the Fracas without injury to yourself."

    "SNAP! As quick as a flash, with one hand, if you are equipped with Peerless® handcuffs you can end the affray and easily handle your man without further danger."

    - Early Peerless® Handcuff Company marketing literature

Peerless Handcuffs Recognizing the advantages, James Milton purchased the patent rights and began selling the product under the Peerless® name. It quickly became popular rendering other types of handcuffs obsolete. Over time, and after the patent expired, the design was copied by most other handcuff manufactures. The Carney design also established the Peerless® Handcuff Company as a leading supplier of high quality restraints, a reputation the company still carries today.

Over the years Peerless® made changes to the original handcuff to take advantage of design improvements and manufacturing advances but the basic swing through style has remained the same. Until the late 1950''s the standard Chain Link Handcuff was the only product sold by Peerless®. In 1957 a 4.5 oz. alloy handcuff was introduced but was discontinued after less then 10,000 pairs were produced. It is now coveted by collectors. The 4.5 oz. handcuff was replaced by the 7.0 oz. handcuff. This cuff was a thinner version of the basic 10 oz. handcuff and was manufactured from 1962 to 1982. In 1971 the Peerless® Leg Iron was introduced. In the late 1970''s David Sullivan began talks with Peerless® to develop and market his patented Hinged Handcuff design. The Peerless® Hinged Handcuff was introduced in 1981 and became popular for its added restraint. In 1981 Peerless® also introduced its first Waist Chains.

More recently Peerless® introduced its high security handcuff which was developed and patented by Alan Lurie. The design offers an alternative to the typical handcuff lock. It incorporates a MEDECO® high security lock, unique key plans and a registered key control system. In August 2002 Peerless® changed to a raised rivet assembly design on all products. The raised rivet construction improves the strength and tamper resistant of all rivet points.

The new raised rivet Model 700 Chain Link Handcuff and the Model 801 Hinged Handcuff have been approved by the National Institute of Justice as meeting NIJ Standard - 0307.01 for Metallic Handcuffs. All Peerless® products are 100% made in the USA and are backed up by the Peerless® Handcuff Company Lifetime Warranty. Any product that is found to have a defect in material or workmanship will be repaired or replaced at no charge.

Peerless® products are sold through a well established dealer network. No direct sales are made. Peerless® products are used by law enforcement, corrections, security, and military personnel across North America. Customers include local police and sheriff departments, local jails and state correctional facilities, as well as, federal agencies including the F.B.I., US Marshall Service, Immigration and Naturalization Service and others. Peerless® products are also used by law enforcement, corrections and military agencies in countries around the world.

Now in its fourth generation, Peerless® remains a family business committed to producing the finest restraints available.

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