You may not remember the time when locks were not around but mankind does. There were times when people would just shut the door behind themselves when living house and hoped for the best. Fortunately, our ancestors realized that they needed some kind of device to secure their homes, loved ones, and other belongings. And hence starts t5he history of mechanical locks.
Who Was First? Egyptians… Duh!
Once upon a time, 6 thousand years ago the Egyptians gave a try to create the world’s first locks. We are talking about simple but effective pin tumbler locks that were made entirely from wood. It included a wooden post that was fixed to the door and a horizontal bolt that slid into this post. Egyptians didn’t stop there! The bolt had numerous sets of openings that were filled with pins. The key (that was nothing like the one we are used to) had pegs that matched with the holes and pins in the lock.
Here Come The Romans
During the 1st millennia BC, locks started improving drastically. Ancient Greeks and Romans were the ones who took locksmithing to another level. Greek locks were quite insecure, however, they inspired Roman innovators who effectively used both Greek and Egyptian heritage. Romans introduces metal as their main material – using iron made it possible to create strong protection against intruders. They also changed the key game – instead of huge brush-like keys, they started making metal keys that were small enough to carry around in a pocket. We can simply say that they came, they saw, they improved!
Locks As We Know Them
After the fall of the Roman Empire, middle ages came and they were dark and full of terrors so there were no improvements in locksmithing. The only lock-related things we can recall from this period are fake keyholes, ornamented locks, and multiple key mechanisms (now known as master key system), The real progress came in the 18th century when technological innovations enabled engineers to create small and solid mechanisms. Robert Barron, Joseph Bramah, and Linus Yale, Sr were true pioneers of the locksmith field. It’s safe to say that the majority of the locks that we have now are based on their innovations.