|Industry||Security hardware manufacturing|
|Headquarters||Incorporation: Indianapolis, Indiana|
|Products||Door exit hardware and programmable access control products and systems.|
Von Duprin is a brand of security products. It was the producer of the first « panic bar » style door mechanism that allows a door to a public building to be locked from the outside but still easy to exit from the inside.
In 1903 the tragic Iroquois Theatre Fire in Chicago claimed the lives of almost 600 people. Carl Prinzler was supposed to attend a show at the theatre that fateful night, however, other business dealings called him elsewhere. During this time-period it was not uncommon for theatres and the like to lock interior and exterior doors thereby disallowing non-paying persons from entering the facility. This also inhibited persons on the inside from exiting. As was the case during the Iroquois Theatre Fire, all doors were locked and/or bolted which prevented patrons from exiting the theatre causing most to be burned alive or succoming to smoke inhalation. Prinzler was astounded at the enormous and senseless loss of life at the Theatre that night. He set out to devise a way for doors into public facilities locked from the outside to allow egress from the inside with minimal effort during an emergency situation. Prinzler tapped into the architectural engineering abilities of Henry H. DuPont to develop a product. In 1908 the first model of a « panic bar » style egress device was released and Vonnegut Hardware Company was utilized to market it. As a result of the joint effort to develop and sell the product it was sold under the name Von Duprin, which is a combination of the names Vonnegut, DuPont and Prinzler.
The popular 88 Series crossbar exit devices still manufactured by Von Duprin have similar appearance characteristics to the original design, although significant engineering changes have been made. 
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