History of Locksmithing, part 1
Locksmiths are considered professionals who design and service locks and other hardware mechanisms. The actual term ‘locksmith’ refers to an individual who shapes metal into locks. It is rare for a locksmith to craft a lock today; however, the name still refers to any hardware-related professional. Licensed locksmiths, such as Associated Locksmiths of America.today in the United States must train through an apprenticeship and certification program through the
The first locks discovered were found over 4,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. Made from carved wood and found in Khorsabad, Persia, these locks were made from a mere three mechanisms including a crossbeam, tumbler and a wooden key. This is the same kind of pin tumbler technology that is used today. A key is used to line up locking pins and then the correct key is inserted, the pins line up properly and the lock mechanism is released.
The technology of locksmithing basically stayed the same for the next 2000 years. The Greek locksmiths used a less sophisticated locking mechanism; it required only a sickle-shaped key. This type of key was easily copied and made and it offered little security. The ancient Romans believed to have made the very first iron locks; they featured elaborate designs. Even though the Roman locksmiths relied on the Egyptian pin tumbler technology, they are also credited with improving security by making a key ward. A key ward is a projection around the keyhole that helps prevent lock-picking.
By the 14th Century, most cities had their own locksmithing guild. Being a part of the guild helped locksmiths to regulate lock technology and the profession itself; it established a new way of training for the profession. During this time, the locks were made more to look better and prettier than they were to provide security. Due to this, technology stayed virtually the same until after the 18th century, relying on the same pin tumbler design the Egyptians invented.
Locksmithing DID make changes during the 18th century.
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