Locksmiths are professionals mainly working on locks and keys for doors, windows, vehicles, and more. They can repair, replace, install, and open locks for you. Whether you need a residential, commercial, automobile, or 24-hour locksmith, they will be there, ready to help you with your problem.
The trade of locksmithing has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Here is a brief history:
Origins of the Lock & Key
Since the dawn of civilization, humanity has tried to find ways to protect their personal belongings. Before the invention of the lock and key, people secured their doors using simple wooden beams and bars.
Archeologists have discovered possibly the oldest known lock in the ruins of Khorsabad palace near Nineveh, in modern-day Iraq. It was estimated that the lock was around 4000 years old. It was a crude device made out of wood and used pins that could be unlocked by a simple wooden key.
The invention spread throughout the world after this, reaching Rome, Greece, and even China. During this time, locks were reserved only for the rich. Having a lock to protect your belongings soon became a status symbol among the people.
The Rise of Metal Locks
Not much has happened in the evolution of the lock and key for quite some time until the first metal locks came into existence around 870 to 900 in England. Iron and brass were the more common materials in their construction. Metal locks became more popular as they spread throughout Europe and Asia. With their invention came more advanced techniques in locksmithing. Soon enough, metal locks began to be adorned with elaborate designs and were embedded with imperial crests.
However, there were many strict rules when it came to the locksmithing profession during this time. These guidelines were regulated heavily by guilds. For example, in medieval France, locksmiths could only make a new key in the daytime and in the presence of the person who requested it. If a locksmith accidentally gave a key they’ve made to the wrong person, the locksmith could get executed.
Effects of the Industrial Revolution
Locksmithing remained the same until the 18th and 19th centuries. The Industrial Revolution saw the rise of more advanced metallurgy, allowing locksmiths to invent more durable locks.
In 1778, Robert Barron created the double-acting tumbler lock. His design contained two tumblers, which are levers that fall into a slot in the bolt that prevents the mechanism from being moved. People like Joseph Bramah, James Sargent, Jeremiah Chubb, and Linus Yale, Sr. all made and designed their own takes on the lock design.
Soon enough, the lock and key system are now more accessible to people. Locksmithing became a more specialized trade once cheaper locks became more available on the market.
Keyless Entry Locks
The latter half of the 20th century saw several new developments when it came to lock design. The first electronic keycard lock was patented in 1975 by a Norwegian man named Tor Sornes. Known as the VingCard, this type of lock opened the door to a new market for reprogrammable locks. It was first implemented in hotel rooms all across the world.
After the success of the VingCard system, other forms of smart locks began to emerge. In the last few decades, there is now a wide range of authentication methods. Some smart locks can now be opened using biometric data and passcodes. More advanced locks can even be unlocked using facial recognition.
Keyless locks can also be interconnected with other systems. Many models today can now access the internet and can be synced up to your other forms of security, like your surveillance system. Some models can only be unlocked using an app on your phone, allowing you to open your door more conveniently.
Since technology is rapidly advancing as the years pass, the locksmithing trade also has to catch up. Modern locksmiths now offer a broader range of services compared to their predecessors. Though they still provide residential, commercial, and emergency 24-hour locksmith services, locksmiths now can also provide automotive locksmithing and home security installation. Locksmiths have adapted to keyless entry options as well.
It’s easy to see how much has changed with lock technology. Whatever the future may bring for locksmithing, locksmiths will be there and ready to adapt to people’s security needs.
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