The History of Locks and Key
Posted on 15th, Aug 2014
The oldest lock ever found is thought to be 4000 years old. It was found in the Khorsabad palace by archaeologists.
When we think about 4000 years ago, we may wonder why, in those ancient times, any one would need a lock. However, there was always the need for people to secure their belongings and keep strangers from gaining easy access to them. Remember, even way back then there were countless treasures, and so locks were very important. The first locks were created using sticks, wood and also rope. The main purpose of these locks back then, because they were very easy to break into, wasn’t primarily for keeping people out, but for showing the owners when someone was trying to get in.
In ancient Egypt, there were locks and keys, where a large and heavy wooden key was used to open the lock. The locks contained pins which were held in place due to gravity. The locks were very simple, but effective for the time.
In the Roman age, keys were viewed as a symbol of wealth. They were made form precious metals, gold, iron, silver and also bronze and could only be afforded by the wealthy.
The first known use for the Padlock was for protection of personal possession and merchandise during travel. They were also commonly used to lock prisoners in the rooms they were held. The locks could be found in many different sizes, shapes and forms, and often depicted religious symbols. The keys used to open these locks also varied. Because these locks still weren’t secure enough, further developments took place. The new popular lock for travellers who were transporting merchandise became the combination padlock.
Many centuries ago, in Madrid, Spain, locks and keys weren’t something that every one in the house had access to. The only person who carried a key was the watchman. When someone needed to leave, they would clap their hands and wait for the watchman to come in order for them to leave the house as well as get in.
Louis, Louis XVI, King of France
Louis, Louis XVI, King of France was Marie Antoinette’s Husband. Outside of being King, he had a passion for locksmith and would often spend his free time making locks. One thing he made, which was perhaps his most fascinating piece, was an iron cabinet where he stowed away all his important and private documents.
Names you should know:
In 1784, Joseph Bramah, an Englishman, created the first lock that was thought to be ‘unpick-able’, which he later received a patent on. He’s also most commonly known for his invention of the Hydraulic Press.
The English locksmith, Robert Barron who invented the double acting tumbler locks in the year 1778.
Samuel Segal was a policeman in New York City who’s hobbies brought him to create the first jimmy proof lock.
In today’s world, we use locks and keys in our everyday lives. At home, in the car, in the office, we’ve got them everywhere, so it goes without saying that they are of dire importance in our society. However, what happens when you have a lock that’s locked and no key? You call a lock smith. Though the locks today are more advanced than they were many years ago, so are locksmiths. No matter how tough the lock may seem, if you find the right locksmith, he’ll be able to pick it.
If you’ve locked your keys in your car or home, give NJ’s Locksmiths a call and have them get you in.