Dawson Machine Company

The Dawson Machine Company of Worchester Massachusetts was never a large manufacturer of handcuffs, but the company did market two high quality handcuffs, both highly desirable to any collector.  The first was patented on July 4, 1899 by J. F. Cumming and is commonly known as the Cumming handcuff.

Cumming handcuff
Cumming Handcuff

The Cumming handcuff possesses two unique features, a locking button on the side of the lock case and two side grips that helped the arresting officer open the cuff. The cuffs are heavy and very well made. The key is a very simple one with the key way on the end of the top of the lock case.

Carberry handcuff
Carberry Handcuff

The second somewhat simplified handcuff from the Dawson Machine Company was patented January 9, 1912 by J. F. Carberry.  It is quite similar to the Cumming handcuff, but lacks the side grips and has a cruder hinge. The Carberry key is slightly larger than the Cumming key and the Carberry bow has a strong spring that keeps it closed. The side of the bow is marked Dawson Machine Company, Worchester Massachusetts.  The Carberry was patented in 1912, the same year as the first Peerless model.  The Peerless handcuffs soon dominated the market, thus Carberry handcuffs didn't last long and they are very rare today.

Both the Cumming and Carberry handcuffs are heavy well made items cleanly designed. Both are highly desirable additions to any handcuff collection.  

Value.  A Cumming handcuff is somewhat hard to find, but tis not particularly rare.  It is worth $350-$500 depending upon condition.  On the other hand a Carberry is a genuinely rare handcuff worth $2000-$3000 again depending upon condition.