The Padlock: An Archetype

Posted on November 9, 2010 by A-1

There are few items more iconic, more telling, more storied than the simple padlock. Think about it for a minute. It is a simple enough idea to grasp, but it has very important implications. You see a padlock and you automatically think about all things safe and secure. The padlock is the archetype for an inborn human need to have a sense of safety and security. You see it on certain websites and it tells you that your personal information is safe from prying eyes. They have a variety of uses, from securing lockers at school or the gym to ensuring that a bicycle remains tethered in one place to keeping the contents of a private cabinet safe from prying eyes. Sure, all of these ends are to ensure that security and safety are maintained, but there is a versatility there, a convenience in portability. Padlocks can be found almost anywhere on the planet and have a rich and storied history.

The earliest known padlocks date back to the Roman Era, between 500 B.C. and 300 A.D.. Padlocks with spring mechanisms were found in the remains of a Viking settlement in York, England, and date back to 850 A.D.. This lends itself to the fact that the technology of the various tribes and settlements had a tendency to catch on in others and to reach distant lands. Early padlocks were made of wrought iron and employed simple lever mechanisms to achieve access control. Later padlocks featured a shell of brass or steel that encased the locking mechanisms. This allowed for more efficient production, as there was no longer a need to bother with metal casts for the padlock’s body. Even with changes in mechanism design and material composition, the basic tenets and features of the padlock have not changed in centuries. It is a testament to human ingenuity that, even with technology advancing at such a rapid pace, we still utilize a design that is hundreds and hundreds of years old and we use it widely enough to warrant significant mention.

Even though a few things may have changed, the basics never do. The professionals at A-1 Locksmiths understand this, and are ready to help the Dallas/Fort Worth area with any and all of their locksmithing needs. Call them 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (972)-284-7500.

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