Ever since the creation of locks, there have been lock professionals. According to The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, locks were invented in the Near East, and they were of the type that is now referred to as pin-tumbler locks. The ancient Egyptians are known to have used intricate and highly sophisticated locks more than 4,000 years ago, so the history of makers and repairers of locks is a long one.
The United States of America has a rich legacy of locksmithing, and there are many venerable names within the lock industry. The names listed below are some of the more famous lock inventors:
1778: Robert Barron devised a version of the double-action tumbler lock. This improved the security of locks greatly.
1784: Joseph Bramah devised the Bramah lock. For 67 years this lock foiled all attempts at being picked. It was eventually picked by A. C. Hobbs, but it took him more than 50 hours to pick the lock.
1818: The detector lock was patented by Jeremiah Chubb. The government had offered a reward for the creation of a lock that could only be opened by its own key, and Chubb’s lock was the winner.
1848: Linus Yale, Sr. created a version of the pin tumbler lock.
1857: James Sargent introduced a combination lock that was key-changeable. This lock became hugely popular with the U.S. Treasury Department as well as with manufacturers of safes.
1861: Linus Yale, Jr. made improvements to his father’s lock. The improvements included use of a smaller key that was flat. The key also had serrated edges, and it was to become the prototype for the modern pin-tumbler lock. In
1862: the younger Yale went on to develop the combination lock as we know it today.
1873: James Sargent created a time-lock mechanism, which he patented. It was the prototype for the time-lock devices that are used in contemporary bank vaults.
1916: Samuel Segal, who owned the Segal Lock and Hardware Company, created the world’s first jimmy-proof lock.
1921: Harry Soref produced an improved version of the padlock. It consisted of a patent lock casing that was constructed of laminated steel. Soref was the founder of the Master Lock Company.
The lure of the lock obviously had a special appeal for the individuals above, and locks continued to draw people to the specialized trade of locksmithing. In many parts of the world, locksmithing is typically learned under an apprenticeship.
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