History of locks
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The History of Locks
Locks are something few of us actually think about until something goes wrong. The fact is, that locks have a very long and fascinating history that most of us aren't even aware of. These are not a recent invention by any means and there are even references in the bible to locking mechanisms, they really do go back that far!
The Oldest Lock
The oldest lock that is known to us was discovered by archaeologists on a dig at the ruins of the Khorsabad Palace near Nineveh. This lock is reckoned to be around 4000 years old. It is a forerunner to a type of lock known as a pin tumbler which was very popular in Egyptian times. This lock will have worked in tandem with a large bolt made from wood in order to secure a door which would have had a slot with several holes in it. These holes were then filled with wooden pegs which stopped the bolt from opening.
Famous Locksmiths Through The Years
There are many names which have become synonymous with locks due to the work they did with them at the time. Here are just a few names. Robert Barron made the first serious attempt at improving a lock's security back in 1778. He patented the double acting tumbler lock which remained the number one lock for several years. In 1784, Joseph Bramah patented the first safety lock and at the time this lock was deemed to be unpickable. Bramah went on to develop the beer bump, a four cock, a hydrostatic machine, a working plane, a quill sharpener and many other items that have deemed him to be one of the most important inventors of his time. Linus Yale Sr and Jr are two of the most important locksmiths who ever lived and gave their name to a lock that everyone has heard of - Yale. In 1848 Yale Sr invented the pin tumbler lock which his son then improved upon by adapted to use the small, flat key with the serrated edge that was to form the basis of all modern pin tumbler locks. Yale Jr patented the first pin tumbler lock with a cylinder in 1861, and a year later invented a modern combination lock whose variations are still used today.
The complex multi point locks on today's windows and doors look nothing like the locks from the time of these great locksmiths, but still work on the same premise that you turn a key to lock and unlock them. Nowadays locks are infinitely more secure, as thieves have become more clever and inventive over the years, as has the technology and with it, the training that all Locksmiths in Leeds and around the UK have to undergo. So next time you put your key in the lock to go in or out of your front door, stop for a moment and think of the history behind one of our most mundane daily tasks.