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Locks and Keys – A Brief History. Here’s How They Have Evolved over the Years

From wood to metal, locks and keys have certainly seen their fair share of innovation over the centuries.

The wooden pin lock was discovered in ancient Mesopotamia. Invented some 4,000 years ago, the design was remarkably similar to modern-day locks.

Centuries later, the wood has turned into metal, intricate mechanisms are being replaced by electronics, and isolation tends to go towards interconnection.

Without further ado, let’s take a walk down history lane and see how locks and keys have changed.

The Origins

As mentioned above, the oldest lock mechanism ever discovered looked a lot like what we use today. Granted, it may have lacked the durability and security we get to enjoy in the present, but for its time, it was remarkable.

People have always craved the feeling of security and the first lock is simply proof of that.

locks and keys

The oldest lock had pins of varying length as part of the locking mechanism. They would prevent the door from opening unless the proper key was inserted to push the pins up so that the wooden bolt which kept the door secure could be moved out of the way.

Egyptians Made Locks and Keys Popular

Ancient Egyptians took the Mesopotamian model, improved it and made it popular. In fact, they are credited with the use of lock and key in architecture.

The Egyptian model was a bit more durable because they replaced the wooden pins with brass. It became so popular that it spread to Greece and the Roman Empire.

They took over and decided to further develop it. Thus, they invented smaller locks and keys which could be fitted to secure chests and drawers.

Another important aspect is that in Europe, locks became a statement. Affluent Romans would wear their keys like rings, so that others would know that they were rich enough to own things which needed protection.

The Birth of Modern Locksmithing

The original design remained largely the same throughout the centuries. However, the Middle Ages saw some innovation in the form of the all metal warded lock. The design only lasted until the technological revolution took over and England became the cradle of security.

locks and keys

Robert Barron patented a double-acting lever tumbler lock, in 1778. Just six years later, Joseph Bramah patented a high-security lock which is still manufactured and sold in London today.

Both of those and subsequent models were successfully picked by an American – Alfred C. Hobbs – and the Great Exhibition. And the authority in locks and keys moved to America.

Yale and the Future

Linus Yale Sr. patented his pin and tumbler lock, in 1843. It became so popular and trusted, people simply called it the Yale lock.

But slowly, another revolution was taking over everything: the digital era. The first electronic lock was patented in 1975. It has been used largely in hotels and cars.

locks and keys

However, the present looks to take the electronic lock even further. People can now opt for all kinds of authentication methods, from passwords to fingerprints. Even Yale is pushing towards a future without physical keys.

Yale smart locks can now connect to the internet and other smart devices you have in your home. They can be safely armed or disarmed remotely, using just your smartphone. They get you a different kind of security – more immersive since you can monitor your home even while on holiday.

If you’d like to learn even more about how to keep your home safe in the present, you can always get in touch with us.

If you’ve enjoyed reading about the history of locks and keys, why not share this post with your friends on social media?

Interesting Facts about the Oldest Door Lock

Locking our door at night or when we leave our home is something we do automatically. It’s so crucial to us that we start to get uncomfortable at the thought of not remembering whether we’ve done it or not.

Today, door locks are all about keeping us safe.

But how about we talk a little bit about the oldest door lock? 

We’ve discovered some interesting facts and we’re confident that you’re going to enjoy them.

Facts about the Oldest Door Lock

Locks have been invented because people wanted to keep intruders out and their belongings safe.

The oldest known door lock was made by the ancient Egyptians. Archaeologists found it in the Khorsabad palace ruins near Nineveh. Nineveh was an ancient Assyrian city of Upper Mesopotamia. The Egyptians were inspired by the Assyrians to create their door lock.

oldest door lock

It’s been estimated that this well-preserved lock had somewhere around 4,000 years old. This means that it was created at least around 2000 B.C.

The Egyptian locks were remarkably similar to pin-tumbler locks. However, they were much larger than the ones we’re used to today. The biggest ones that were discovered had even two feet in length.

The main difference between the oldest door lock and the ones that were later invented was the fact that it was made entirely out of wood. This included the key as well.

These locks were made with a wooden bolt which was attached to the door. It had a slot with several holes on the upper surface.

This was attached to the door and it had wooden pins which were arranged in different patterns. Because of that, each lock was unique and it needed its own key in order to be opened.

To open the door, the wooden key would have to be inserted in the through the bolt. This would then raise the pins, and the lock would slide out.

The locks developed by the Egyptians were much more secure than the ones created later on by the Romans. One reason was due to their size.

The Romans locks used a spring rather than a bolt and they were easier to pick than the Egyptians ones.

The pin-tumbler lock is still to this day the most common type used for door locks.

Researchers believe that the Egyptians created these big door locks because they wanted to protect:

  • Their belongings;
  • And places of religious significance.

These Egyptians locks were so effective that actual security guards become unnecessary. Also, all the doors could be locked and unlocked only from the outside.


Egyptians Knew Their Way Around Door Locks

Even if it has not been proven, researchers believe that door locks existed prior to 2000 B.C.

However, they were probably not as resistant as those created by the Egyptians.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and the facts we presented about the oldest door lock.

In the end, we want you to know that we always got your back and the security of your door. If you ever need the help of a locksmith that’s near you, you can count on us.

We can repair and replace doors, frames and locks in case they have been damaged. Whenever you need our help, give us a call at 0800 0612 677.

The Most Common Burglar Scams You Should Be Aware of

The concept of home safety involves knowing the risks and potential dangers in and around your house. It also includes education meant to keep your family and goods safe from burglaries.

Sadly, burglar scams seem to be more and more common in recent years. They are also known as door-to-door scams, but with proper education, almost anyone can avoid having their valuable goods stolen.

Read on to learn what are the most common scenarios and aspects you should watch out for if you want to avoid any potential burglar scams.

The ‘Knocker’ Scam

This one even made it to the news, last year. A wave of break-ins all across the UK, has determined the authorities to issue a warning.

The mechanism was quite intelligent, really. Conmen were posing as door-to-door sellers offering a range of cleaning products. As you may imagine, their purpose is to scout and check the house.

burglar scams

They would look for valuable possessions, if the house is empty during certain hours or if there are any security systems installed.

All this information was reported to other gang members who would raid the house sometime in the following weeks.

To stay away from these burglar scams, you should secure your front door with a door chain or simply refuse to open the door to the sellers or invite them in.

Fake Utility Workers

This scam involves two burglars. They would pose as utility workers telling you there’s an emergency they need to fix right away.

While one of them keeps you busy, the other goes around your house and steals whatever valuable possessions or money he can find.

The idea something may be wrong with one of your utilities is what makes this one of the most efficient burglar scams. To make things worse, if you refuse to let them in, they will threaten you with a fine.

Luckily, there is a simple method to avoid this scam: if the so-called utility workers haven’t reached out to you to schedule a check-up or maintenance fix, simply refuse. They don’t have the authority to fine you. Additionally, just threaten them you’ll call the Police and watch them leave in no time.

Burglar Scams which Use Fake Authority to Fool You

burglar scams

Another common situation is when someone posing as a census surveyor, shows up at your front door and starts asking detailed questions, such as:

  • Financial status
  • Your National Insurance number
  • Where do you work
  • If you have children or not.

This scam works because the con artist uses the fact we tend to trust people who are seen as an “official” or “expert.”

If it happens to you, the first thing you should do is ask for a badge number and paperwork which states they are who they claim to be.

In Conclusion

As you have read, burglar scams can be easily avoided. If you want to take it up a notch and secure your home with all-around smart security systems, you can do so. You’ll get more benefits than you expect and extra peace of mind.

Being informed is the first step towards keeping your home and family safe.

However, whenever one of the situations above happens, remember to always notice your local authorities. Any information you provide could help prevent something similar happening to anyone else.

At LockRite we took a keen interest in almost all aspects of home security. If you’re locked out, lost your keys or you’re finding it hard to lock your door, just get in touch with one of our professional locksmiths.

Top Smart Security Devices to Scare the Burglars Away in 2017

Gone are the days when you were on holiday, but also on pins and needles thinking about the safety of your household.

Now, we’ve got smart security tools to reinforce the safety measures already in place. 

The best aspect of these smart appliances is that they’re not hard to figure out. If you know how to handle a smartphone, you’ll sure manage an extra app connected to smart security gadgets.

Do you need more insight into what the market offers at the moment? We’ve got some recommendations gathered in three categories.

smart security

1. Smart Locks

When you’ve got one of these items on your door, you know home security is in good hands.

This year, the following smart door locks seem to be gaining experts’ recognition:

  • Kwikset 916 Z-Wave SmartCode Touchscreen Electronic Deadbolt: this sturdy device will lock automatically after 30 seconds, so it practically rules out the “Did I lock the door or not?” dilemma. You can re-key the code if needed, plus you can use the Home Connect technology to link the lock to other monitoring systems.
  • Schlage Connect BE469NX: offers 30 customised user codes and built-in movement sensors to alert you of any suspect activity outside.
  • August Smart Lock: gets you keyless access to your home and its performance is not affected by power outages.
  • Yale Smart Lock: a smart lock approved by Police Secured by Design.

To make sure they’re installed correctly, it’s worth calling your local locksmith for a helping hand. Many of them are specialising in dealing with smart locks malfunctions.

At Lockrite for instance, we’re providing assistance with the Yale Smart Locks, so feel free to contact us whenever you’re in two minds about what you should be doing.

2. Smart Light Bulbs

Among smart security items, these are considered the ‘cool’ additions to the smart devices family.

If you set your mind on getting one of these, durability is a key feature to have in mind. Here are a few conveniently priced items:

  • Philips Hue White: for roughly £12, it offers quite an impressively large range of features: geofencing, an estimated 23-year life span and integration with the main smart home kits (Amazon Alexa, Nest or IFTTT).
  • C by GE Starter Pack: as opposed to other smart bulbs, this one requires no hub to be installed, while also presenting an intuitive app.
  • GE Link Connected Web: attractively designed, this bulb will fit just nicely in your room.

3. Wireless Smart Security Cameras

Security cameras are getting increasingly sophisticated technology to enhance their performance.

That said, have a look at these surveillance experts:

  • Arlo Pro Security System: this wire-free surveillance pack offers free local cloud storage, motion-triggered and sound-activated sensors, within a reasonable price range.
  • Canary All-In-One Home Security Deviceenhanced night vision and air quality monitoring are the features setting it apart.
  • Smano UFO: low-profile design, perfect for keeping an eye on your indoor belongings due to its 360-degree coverage. 1080p quality and night vision for less than £150.

smart security 3

Weighing Your Options

It’s true, there are a lot of features to take into account.

Not to mention the budget – digital home security assets are a tad pricey if we compare them to classic solutions.

But whichever solution you pick, you need to keep in mind one aspect: home safety is the kind of investment we shouldn’t be afraid to make.

After all, staying open to various home security options will only make your house a hard nut to crack for burglars.