Well seen as Valentines day is upon us I thought it would be fun to look at the history behind a 'security item' from days gone by, when keeping your house and material possessions safe wasn't your prime concern. I am talking about the history of the chastity belt, this is of course the device that let many fathers sleep at night and has history back to before the 15th and the crusades.
Most of you will of course what these were used for so will spare you some of the gruesome details but basically for those of you don't, it is an item of clothing that prevents the wearer from any funny business whether willing or unwilling.
According to several modern myths, when a knight left for the Holy Lands on the crusades, his Lady would wear a chastity belt to preserve her faithfulness to him. Lovely sentiment however it was general knowledge that prolonged wear could cause sore, genitourinary infection and sepsis...
Due to the above they needed to be changed frequently until the advent of Stainless Steel in 1872 when two colleagues, Woods and Clark filled for a patent of an acid and weather resistant alloy which allowed for 30-35% chromium and 2% tungsten, this would later be formally recognized as the first stainless steel. This new technology allowed for a more hygienic and stronger belt and subsequently they could be worn for much longer periods of time.
To keep the device closed a variety of locking methods were employed but the most popular of recent times would have been the humble padlock. Although chastity belts are still produced to this day in various guises it is the padlock that is the real champion and has gone through big changes. From large, cumbersome iron lever locks to what we have today is a huge leap in such little time. For example, if you had today's selection back during the renaissance then you'd have the choice of a 5 pin, 6 pin, keyed alike, master keyed, keyless, combination, weatherproof or even an alarmed padlock that blasts out a 75db siren if someone attempts to break the lock and steal ones fair Lady!
One of the locks I would trust would be the Squire SS50C Stronghold combination padlock, i'd trust my life and my Lady's purity to it, if she could manage to lift it of the ground as it really is a beast of a unit, nifty feature is that its completely recodable and offers over 100,000 combinations. Durability is great too with excellent corrosion resistance and tested against many hours of salt spray they are ideal if you live near the coast.
I hope this little read has been informative and made you pause for thought when you look at the humble padlock next, remember they have a lot more uses that you might think!
All the best,