Locksmithing 101: The Evolution of Locks and Keys

If you are locked out of your home, there is only one person that you need at this dark hour – locksmith. Locksmiths do not just cut keys and repair locks of your doors. They are more than that. Before understanding their role in modern society, it is crucial that you know how this profession came about. This is for awareness sake.

Here’s the evolution of locks and keys:

Ancient locksmithing

Locksmithing is not a new profession. In fact, it is one of the oldest professions first seen around 4,000 years ago in ancient Egypt and Babylon. Locks during that time were crude, large and usually made of wood. As the need to keep valuables increased, the locking technology spread. It eventually came to ancient Greece, Rome and including China.

In the case of wealthy Romans, they used a lock and the key to protect their valuables. Locksmiths make intricate keys that people can wear by attaching it on rings or necklaces so it is with them wherever they go. The first metal locks appeared around 870 to 900 AD. During these time, locks were made of iron bolts and are made by English craftsmen. After a while, locks made of iron and brass were found all over Europe and even in China. Fast forward to the 14th and 17th century, many locksmiths improved their trade by designing intricate lock and keys for members of the nobility. It was until the 18th century that locksmiths were able to create more secure and durable keys and locks.

Galveston Locksmith

Modern lock

The materials used to create locks and keys changed but the mechanics and the basic design remained the same for centuries. It was during the industrial revolution in the 1800s that brought about precision and standardization of locks and keys. It was Robert Barron who designed the lever tumbler lock in 1778. This lock needed to lift a lever to a precise height to unlock it.

In 1817, there was a burglary in Portsmouth Dockyard. This prompted the government to create a competition for locksmiths to produce superior lock. This competition discovered Jeremiah Chubb who designed the Chubb detector lock. With this, Jeremiah and his brother started a lock company called Chubb. Their locks used movable internal levels, which made it difficult for pickers to unlock it.

Linus Yale invented the modern lock in 1848. In fact, his key designs are still used today. In his design, he used different lengths of pins to prevent the lock from being opened without the right key.

The shifting role of locksmiths today

Locksmiths today are more than cutting keys and repairing door locks. Locksmith Galveston, for instance, offers different locksmithing services from installing advanced security systems to creating high-security safes. In fact, other locksmiths include transponder cloning, home automation, alarm monitoring and many more. Some locksmiths also worked for security companies to design and build safes for government and banks.

The role of locksmiths may shift but they are still reliable when you need help especially if it concerns your keys and locks. If you need locksmiths, it is better to call one right away.

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Andy Favell

Andy Favell