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Modular Security Systems Inc. Offers the Modern Day Brass Shack

You may be asking yourself, "What's a brass shack?" 

The brass shack is traced back to the use of brass rings for time-keeping and attendance purposes. The phrase, "Brass me in!" may be just a figure of speech but for years it was considered the best way to track employees. In the old days before card swipes, biometrics readers, and bar codes were so common, the "Brass System" was a simple, inexpensive and reliable method of timekeeping and tool control on large construction projects. Actually, the practice started as a safety roll call method in the mining industry.

Each employee was issued a brass coin approximately the size of a half dollar stamped with the employee's unique control number and a small hole to facilitate hanging it on a peg board in the brass shack. The typical brass shack was like a ticket booth with the window parallel to a walkthrough gate called the "brass alley".

Every morning the employee would "brass in" (pass through the brass alley where he would be given his brass). At start of work the timekeeper would close the brass alley and inventory the brass. The presence of a brass indicated the absence of a worker. At quitting time the worker would brass out and the brass would be inventoried again. A vacant spot on the pegboard represented a worker who had not yet brassed out. If an employee had not brassed out on time it could indicate a safety problem or simply an overtime assignment that would have to be verified.

During the course of the day if an employee needed an item from the tool crib he would use his brass as a security deposit until the tool was returned. A typical tool crib had a pegboard where the employee's brass would be posted along with a paper tag for each item he had out on loan. He would have to return all the tools at the end of the day in order to retrieve his brass.

Modular Security Systems, Inc. (MSSI) has in recent years developed what might be seen as an "electronic brass shack" or a "modern day time alley.”  In 2004 MSSI invented and applied for a patent for the MAC (Modular Access Control) modern time alley. To date, the MAC Portal is patented in the United States, Canada, and the European Union. Created by incorporating full height turnstiles with access control technology into an ISO shipping container, the MAC Portal allows for a mobile, portable "time alley" or "brass shack" that contains card readers, biometric readers or bar code readers in place of the old fashion brass system that was used for years on mining and construction site jobs as a way of controlling site attendance and security. 

Today, thanks to MSSI's patented MAC Portal, the construction industry is quickly moving into the 21st century with regard to how the industry addresses time and attendance and access control use on jobsites. 

For more information on MSSI and our patented perimeter security products like the Modular Access Control (MAC) Portal CONTACT US HERE or call 740.532.7822.