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The image of bronze key on lock at Vancouver, BC

We all use keys in our personal lives every day. You unlock your front door to leave the house, then you use your car keys to get where you’re going. If you’re going to work, you probably use some sort of key to get into the office, and if you’re headed for a workout, you’ll use a lock and key for your gym locker. If you’ve ever wondered about how locks and keys came into being, here are some basics about their history.

Personal property as a concept came into being thousands of years ago, and it necessitated a way to keep one’s personal property out of the hands of others. That’s when locks and keys were first invented.

Ancient Times

The earliest evidence of a lock that has been discovered dates back to ancient Assyria. The locks found there were wooden pin locks, similar to modern locks. Pins of different lengths in the locks would only allow the locks to be opened if the right wooden key was inserted.

Metal Locks

The Romans began to use metal for locks, but the mechanisms were very similar to the old wooden locks. The metal locks had a keyhole that had a series of concentric plates that would block a key from turning if it wasn’t the right key.

Lock Innovation

In the 19th century, an enterprising inventor by the name of Linus Yale patented a pin tumbler lock. Yale’s lock used a key with ridges of various heights to align a set of key pins correctly for the lock’s barrel to be turned. This same system is still used in modern locks bearing the Yale name.

Keyless Locks

In the 20th century, lock designers began to come up with ideas for locks that could be opened without a traditional key. The first of these were push buttons and combination locks. Push button locks are still used in commercial applications to allow access to restricted areas, such as in hospitals or airports.

Smart Technology

In recent years, smart technology has begun to be applied to locks. Smart locks allow users to lock or unlock their homes or businesses by using their phones.

The Future of Locks

The use of facial recognition and retina scanners is beginning to be applied to modern locking mechanisms. In the future, you’ll only need to look at your lock to gain access to your home or office.

For your commercial, residential, or industrial security needs, you can turn to the professionals at Accurate Security. For over 50 years we have helped homes and businesses throughout British Columbia remain safe and secure. Your safety, as well as the safety of your family or employees, is our top priority. No matter your security needs, our team will provide competitive prices and premier security solutions you can trust.

For more information about the services we offer, visit our website or contact us at 604-777-3888.