History of Locks Part 1

For as long as man has gathered (which is to say, as long as we have existed) the need to store and protect our valuables has been present. While we at Central Alarm are protecting your homes with quality security, it is just another step in a long and storied history.

The earliest lock and key devices were discovered in the ruins of the capital of ancient Assyria. This lock was developed further into the Egyptian pin lock. A basic lock made entirely of wood; these consisted of a horizontal bolt with various openings which were filled with pins. As a key was inserted, the pins were moved, allowing the bolt to be removed. This is the basic form of the pin tumbler lock, one of the most common locks around, and it originated over 4000 years ago!

The Romans further improved upon this idea by introducing metal as the primary material in lock making. Now locks were much stronger to brute force attacks, and the keys were able to become small enough to carry in pockets. Fun piece of trivia: Wealthy Romans were said to work their keys into rings to always have access to their valuables literally on hand but also to flaunt that they had wealth worthy of securing.

While wards (components of locks that allowed only the proper key to work the mechanics) were developed during this time, with the fall of the Roman Empire all further development in locksmithing slowed to a standstill. The Middle Ages saw the change up of using multiple locks, false and/or hidden keyholes rather than any more increasingly engineered locks.

We will pause there for the time being. Next time on the Central Alarm blog we will make a big leap forward and hit up the 18th century, where all sorts of locks are waiting for us. Until next time!

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