Locksmiths have been with us since the Early years of Ancient Egypt and Babylon around 4000 years ago.
It was a practice then for locksmiths to make wooden devices that used the tin tumbler technique to prevent free movement of the door bar.
The pins can only be moved with a large wooden key that was shaped like a toothbrush, which was inserted into a lock then pushed upwards to move internal pins that unlocked doors.
These simple locks were discovered among the ruins of the Assyrian Empire specifically in the City of Khorsabad.
Both historians and scientists agree that this type of wooden lock was created in 704 BC.
The Romans often wore keys on their fingers like rings. They were more conscious about securing their valuables from theft. It was also a display of status during that time.
In the 18th century, locksmiths in Europe were able to apply the advancements in metals during that time to come up with sturdier locks and keys. The designs were now improved until the time came when more designs went through industrial mass production.
Cheap locks replaced locksmiths who were now limited to repairing these industrial locks or making duplicate keys for customers. They also got jobs working for huge security companies that build safes for banks.
In time, locks that were made of iron and brass started to circulate and could be found all over Europe even as far as China. They worked with keys that can be turned, pushed or screwed.
Robert Barron was able to perfect the lever tumbler lock in 1778. It required the lever to be lifted to a particular height so you can unlock.
A lock competition by the British Government was won by Jeremiah Chubb who also developed the Chubb detector lock. The lock was not picked for 3 months which helped Chubb win the competition.
Around three years passed when Jeremiah and his brother Charles opened their lock company that further improved on lock and key designs. Their designs were based on using movable internal levels.
Joseph Bramah created locks that used a round key with notches on the surface. The notches would move metal slides that would prevent the opening of the lock.
In 1848, the double acting pin tumbler lock was invented by Linus Yale. These designs are still being used in modern locks today.
Today, locks have electronic chips in them but are still based on the designs made by Bramah, Chubb, and Yale.
Locksmiths often work out of a workshop or mobile van. They are experts in selling, repairing, installing and maintaining locks and security systems.
Today’s locksmith has to include skills in mechanics, carpentry, metalworks, woodworks, and electronics. They can choose to specialize in home, auto or commercial sectors and offer their services.
In a nutshell, we have discovered more about the history of locksmiths. Learning about the history of locksmiths can be interesting, we can now appreciate more the technology we have today that can make us more secure than ever before.