You don’t often think of building materials being surrounded by myths. However, in the case of the HL hinge, there are indeed some myths and misconceptions out there that we need to dispel.
Holy Lord (HL) hinges are larger H-shaped hinges that have a support arm attached to the door itself. HL hinges are typically used with heavier doors.
There are 3 related myths that surround HL hinges and about the doors themselves.
The 1st myth is that the HL stands for “Holy Lord” because early American colonists used them to show how devoutly religious they were.
The real reason behind the name “HL” hinge is actually quite simple: when oriented a certain way the hinge looks like the letters “H” and “L” standing next to each other.
Nevertheless, the nickname “Holy Lord” hinge seems to have stuck.
In a related myth, it was also believed by colonists that HL hinges were used to protect homes from witches. This myth can still occasionally be heard at hardware stores today.
In reality, an HL hinge makes sense because the wooden doors during colonial times were much heavier than those we use today, and they needed the extra support that the addition of a supporting arm provided.
The 3rd myth states that the colonists had paneled doors styled so that they looked like an open Bible, a cross, or two H’s (which stood for heaven and hell).
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