It is true that old hardware was better made. Not only did it last longer typically, it could often be repaired if it stopped working.
It is true.. here is an example of one with a door latch which did not work any longer.
Would not operate – stuck inside permanently. If a new one would be throw away and get a new one. But the older ones do come apart.
And in this case the spring was no longer in the proper position, hence it would not operate! Nothing broken, in fact rarely did the parts break on these older latches/locks. (yes it has a lock – designed for a bedroom or bathroom)
But taking the spring and moving to the proper location should make it work once again!
Yes that is all there is – back together and onto door. Little bit of clean up and good to go. This particular one was around a year and half ago the work was done and still working as good as new.
Sometimes the older items did work better. Problem is the material involved in the system would make it cost prohibitive today and people would not purchase it! Oh well..