History of Locks - LocksOnline
As long as we have had possessions and something to protect we have had the need to secure stuff, and to secure stuff, we require a key of some description to keep it safe.
Every one thinks that a key is a metallic object with some sort of impressions on it that has its twin in the lock for which that key is used for. What is surprising with the word "key" it can mean lots of things. Maps are keys, a riddle can be a key. So theres more to the word key than meets the eye.
Since records began, and hoping my education stands up the first use of a key used to secure a door, was in use by the Egyptians, it was more along the lines of a ring in style and use, but when inserted in a lock on a door, it would move reciprocal pins to the shear line and the lock would open.
There is much history in the Midlands when it comes to lock building etc, as it was the black country where it was all happening in the last couple of centuries, but in those days warded rims was the lock of the day, to which, we now call church locks and church keys. The complicated design of the key may have looked fancy but part was decoration and part was security, and this is now what we call a warded key. The shapes in the bit of the key (part that goes in the lock) are called wards and there are side wards and bullet wards, I am sure there are other wards as well, but alas I must have slept through that part of the lesson.
Linus Yale was bounding through with his pin tumbler lock in the mid eighteen hundreds, but was that not the principles of locks that the Egyptians used? Ha, no patents around at the time.
Chubb was playing around with levers and Bramah with his cylindrical wafer lock design at the same time as Yale. These three locking technologies are still being used today so much that they are entwined into the very fabric of our security and life styles.
There is now talk that the new lock will be our mobile phones and I can see this as being a reality within ten years (2012) maybe even sooner, as hard as it is to crack encryption on a software program this technology will be one day embedded into locking our offices and homes, and then what would happen to the locksmith as we know them? So interested in the science of escapology, would they now have to use computer program's to crack locks or is it that the new locksmith may actually be a computer programmer. Scary thought perhaps, but believe it or not locksmiths is one of the oldest trades in the world, it is up there with blacksmith, carpenter and the likes. I dare say it am digressing a little here as the topic is about keys!
What is quite strange though the keys that the Egyptians used were disguised as a ring sometimes, the future key perhaps will be disguised as a mobile phone or a chip embedded somewhere. Ha ha ..
Perhaps biometrics will be the new key, some of the technology out there works very well but my experience has been it is not that predictable yet and is prone to failure, that is unless you have remortgaged the house for the lock on the door.
Perhaps there is another blog coming on with the future of locking and the types of keys that we will have in the future.
Thanks for the read,
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Darrel Walters .. CEO
History of Locks