We all often take security for granted. When asked, locks & keys are just basic tools that help keep our house, garage, or business secure. We often forget that locks & keys were invented centuries ago and that they have saved countless lives in numerous wars and battles throughout history!
Here are some fascinating facts you didn’t know about locks and keys.
- Do you know that locks were made by humans during the Stone Age (6000-2000 BC) to protect them from wild animals? Back then, people made their homes out of mud or straw so they were very vulnerable. If a lion broke down their door late at night, they would have no way to protect themselves. They needed locks! The first locks were naturally made by bending branches and tying them together. A wooden peg was placed in one end of the bent branches and a hole through the other, creating a simple locking mechanism.
- The first locks were made of wood and metal hoops, not metal tumblers! This meant that anyone who had the right tool could simply break through the lock. Luckily, “lock-picking” was born to combat these crooks…
- It took over 1,000 years to invent the combination lock. It is believed that they were invented by Leonardo Da Vinci in the late 1490s. He was hired to invent new machines for the military, but it is unclear how many of these inventions he completed because there are no detailed drawings or descriptions left.
- The first known key was discovered in a large piece of limestone that dates back to approximately 6000 BC. It was found in the ruins of a town in Yugoslavia and is believed to have been made by metal-smiths who were there at the time.
- The first locksmith’s guild was formed in Paris, France in 1250. This guild had standards and training for all locksmiths that participated and was very successful in ensuring the quality of locks produced.
- World War II was a boon to the lock industry! During WWII, special machines were created for military use that used high-security cylinders and keys to protect sensitive material. As this technology quickly became more affordable, it soon found its way into homes and businesses worldwide… Even today, these high-security locks are often the only ones that home security companies will install on your doors!
- The first locksmith to patent a design for a double-acting pin tumbler lock was Jeremiah Chubb in 1818. His design had been improved upon by American Linus Yale, Sr. in the 1850s and these locks are still considered to be among the safest locks available.
Did you find these facts fascinating about locks & keys? Well if you want to learn more or need a lock job done by a professional, we are here to assist.