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6 Fascinating Locking Systems throughout Time

The Internet of Things has been influencing the way locking systems are designed for a few years now.

And while it’s natural that this is what makes most of the home security headlines, it’s also intriguing to step back and understand the steps leading to the current state of affairs.

Throughout the following lines, you’ll learn a few fun facts about six lock models from the past.

1. The Roman Sliding Bolt Lock

This door locking mechanism circulated around AD 300.

It consisted of a sturdy beam attached to the door. A narrow slit underneath the beam made room for the key to be inserted. The key had two prominences that would fit into two holes on the side of the beam. When the key was locked into the beam, it was easy to slide the beam and open or close the door.

2. The Spring Latch

This is one of the basic locking systems, yet it is quite ingenious in its design.

The spring latch is, essentially, an angle-edged bolt that is loaded by a spring. Once the door is closed, the angled edge of the bolt gets ‘caught’ in the strike plate (a metal piece attached to the door in the place where the bolt enters the door frame).

With the aid of a spring, the bolt retracts upon the pushing of the handle.

3. The Shield-Shaped Padlock

Coming from the German craftsmen tradition and imported to Sweden, these padlocks were simple locking systems. What was special about them was the aesthetic quality they had.

Presenting one, two or four shackles (sometimes hidden beneath a flap), these locks had a massive body weighing up to 5 kg.

As prominent as they were, however, they displayed a smooth, polished design.

locking systems

4. The Protector Lock

Also called the ‘moveable lock’, this locking device is linked to the figure of a popular locksmith – Alfred Charles Hobbs.

By launching the protector lock in 1850, Hobbs advanced a simpler and more secure design than his previous ones.

The mechanism relied on a transfer of pressure: from the internal bolt to a fixed pin.

5. The Combination Lock

Aimed at securing safes, it would present five rings, four of which had to be aligned to the first one in order for the mechanism to unlock. The alignment was ensured once the rings formed a preset code.

6. The French Gothic Lock

Dating back to the 17th century, this lock had a stylish design aimed at serving interior doors.

The locking system is activated by a key that can be inserted from both sides of the door.

The whole locking mechanism is encased in a small box which usually has a small handle attached to it. The distinctive element of this lock is the intricate adornment featuring Gothic-styled frames.


Locking Systems – A Field of Constant Innovation

Would you have liked to experience the times wherein these six systems were circulating? Or rather: would you have felt safe with one of them on your door?

Back in the day, these locking mechanisms were the only form of home security people had at their disposal.

Nowadays, however, we have many home security options that are highly efficient – not just fascinating. At LockRite, we work hard to help you protect your home and belongings, so feel free to get in contact with us and never be caught on the wrong foot.


3 Locksmiths Who Shaped The History of Locks

Taking the first documented lock into consideration, we can say the history of locks began 2.700 years ago in Ancient Egypt.

Since then – although not consistently – ingenious locksmiths have been adding improvement after improvement until they got to the locks we’re familiar with today.

That said, we’d like to present three of the locksmiths to whom we owe a great part of the current level of home security.

1. Linus Yale

Bearing the best-known name in the locking industry, Yale began as a locksmith due to his father who specialized in producing high-security bank locks.

Taking his father’s legacy further, Linus Yale patented a pin tumbler cylinder lock. Then he went on to perfect the combination lock (a lock typically used to secure safes).

His most important contribution to the history of locks is the Yale cylinder lock (patented in 1865).

The model worked on a simple principle – ‘an inner cylinder that turns on an axis inside an outer cylinder’ – which made it easier to manufacture. Plus, it required a small key that was a lot more convenient to carry than its predecessors.

The many breakthroughs Yale has effected were joined by yet another success: the founding of Yale&Towne Company in 1868, which soon expanded worldwide.

2. Harry Soref

In the history of locks, a lot of defining moments had to do with crafting locks that were reliable, easy to replicate, and accessible to a wider range of homeowners.

Harry Soref is one of the locksmiths who made this possible with his laminated padlock.

Having worked as a locksmith for a while, he noticed that the average lock models were prone to easily being damaged. So he came up with the idea of laminating the layers of steel (a technique used for securing bank vaults) instead of using stamped metal shells, thus ensuring much more strength to the padlock.

And once he founded the Master Lock company in 1921, he even started manufacturing these locks himself.

This marked a significant development, as locks began to be more resistant and thus reliable for widespread use.

history of locks

3. Harry Houdini

He may have been a brilliant magician, but Harry Houdini is included in this list (and in the history of locks) because he was also a magician of locksmithing. And lockpicking, especially.

Born in 1874 under the name of Ehrich Weisz, the Hungarian-native emigrated to America, settling in New York in 1882.

Since the age of 11, he worked as an apprentice to a local locksmith (where he soon managed to be a master in this craft), then moved on to performing as a circus trapeze artist and in vaudeville acts. Soon after, Harry started to gain a reputation as a daredevil magician. His exhibitions implied heart-stirring acts of extrication from:

  • ropes,
  • handcuffs,
  • shackles,
  • confined spaces,
  • locked containers.

One of his secrets was an uncanny skill of manoeuvring locks and lockpicking any system. The unusual agility he possessed was partly explained by an early age apprenticeship at a local locksmith.

The relentless illusionist and escapologist drove progress in the history of locks once locksmiths started to design the so-called ‘unpickable locks’ that were supposed to end Houdini’s agility.

One of the challengers was Nathaniel Hart, the Birmingham lock virtuoso who spent five years crafting an unbreakable lock.

Like Hart, there were other locksmiths who, wanting to defeat Houdini, pushed their craft further and tried to design safer locks. These efforts which were triggered by Houdini have led us to consider him a pivotal figure in shaping the history of locking systems.

history of locks

History of Locks – The Story Carries on

At the moment, keyless access into our homes seems to be the major trend to be widely adopted by regular homeowners.

While locks are indeed morphing into app-controlled devices, the classic lock is not likely to go anywhere.

We’re a passionate team of locksmiths, and apart from providing proficient locksmith services, we also like to share facts and stories about our profession. So make sure you follow us on our Twitter or Facebook account to get these stories in your feed.

4 Ways Technology Has Changed Traditional Locksmithing

From the way we communicate to the way we secure our homes, the continuous development of technology has impacted all aspects of our lives and has significantly changed the way we do things on a day-to-day basis.

Globally, the digital revolution has moulded different industries, and the home security industry is no exception.

Traditional locksmithing has evolved remarkably in the past few decades to the point where it’s not just about locks and keys anymore.

Driven by the growing number of applications of technology, the industry has made its way into the broader home security arena and now covers a more complex array of solutions.

If you want to learn more about this topic, keep on reading.

traditional locksmithing

1. Smart Locks

The emergence of smart locks is a prime example of how technology can be applied to make the process of securing our homes easier and more convenient.

Made possible by the expanding popularity of smartphones, today’s generation of smart locks has evolved past the traditional mechanical locks and keys. By simply using the smart lock dedicated app on their phones, homeowners can quickly gain property access without the need to carry physical keys.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. To learn more about the extended capabilities of keyless door locks and the associated benefits, we encourage you to read this article. 


In addition to traditional locks and keyless lock systems, today’s locksmith industry also covers the installation and maintenance of HD CCTV devices which have become increasingly popular among homeowners.

It’s no surprise, considering HD security cameras are capable of capturing high-definition video surveillance footage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What’s more, security cameras now come in many types with a multitude of features, including remote live viewing via smartphone and two-way communication between the person monitoring the video stream and the one in front of the camera.

traditional locksmithing

3. Burglar Alarm Systems

A recent study has shown that 60% of burglars would be deterred from targeting a property with an alarm.

What’s more, the development of technology has made it possible for owners to control their alarm system remotely via a smartphone and be alerted when the alarm is triggered.

In addition, those interested in advancing their home security can opt for a wireless alarm system or a traditional, wired one. Not only that, but burglar alarms can now be connected to smart locking devices which generally fall under locksmiths’ expertise. 

For instance, Yale’s Keyfree Connected smart lock can be connected to the Yale Easy Fit Alarm range, allowing users to open their door using the Yale Alarm app on their phones.

4. The Need for Qualified Locksmiths with Increased Level of Expertise

To be able to meet the growing needs and demands of today’s forward-thinking customers, locksmiths need to broaden their offering.

That means they need to have a well-rounded knowledge of a wide range of technological devices that go beyond conventional locks and traditional locksmithing.

As the industry continues to evolve with technology, the demand for tech-savvy locksmiths who have the skills needed to cover multiple layers of security will increase as well.

Our technicians receive continuous training so that we can maintain a high standard of quality when it comes to the way we serve our clients not only now but also in the future.

If you need a locksmith, call 0800 0612 677  to receive a free, no-obligation quote today.

So Where Does This Leave Traditional Locksmithing?

As you can see, the locksmith industry has not been sidestepped by the impact of technology. But that doesn’t mean traditional locksmithing is slowing down or going away.

It’s just adapting to today’s ongoing technology trends and evolving with the times. And by integrating more home security solutions, locksmithing will become increasingly more relevant and more prominent in the overall security landscape.

This is an exciting time for the locksmith market, so if you want to stay up-to-date with the developments in this industry, make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


Top Reasons Why Investing in a Keyless Door Lock Is a Smart Decision

The increased concern for home security is one of the leading motivations behind homeowners’ willingness to invest in smart home systems, so it’s no surprise the popularity of smart locks is growing.

A smart lock is a device typically operated through a smartphone or web app by using communication technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.  This makes it a keyless door lock.

If you want to learn more about the main benefits of keyless living in your everyday life, then make sure to keep on reading.

Freedom to Secure Your Home Without the Need to Carry Keys

Tired of having to clutch to your keys every time you go for a walk? Having to carry your keys everywhere you go, even if you’re just taking a short trip to the store around the corner can get quite annoying and frustrating.

Not to mention the trouble if you have to go through if you or someone in your family happens to misplace the keys.

Smart locks are devised to operate using smartphones, laptops or other mobile devices. So the most obvious advantage of a keyless door lock is that it doesn’t require a physical key to be operated.

keyless door lock

This means you’ll have one less thing on your mind you need to worry about on a day-to-day basis. It’s a seemingly small lifestyle change, but it does produce a difference when it comes to making life more comfortable and more convenient.

Multiple Options to Lock and Unlock Your Door

Unlike traditional locks which can only be operated by inserting the correct key into the locking mechanism, a keyless door lock offers various alternatives.  Yale’s keyfree smart lock, for instance, allows users to lock and unlock their doors by using:

  • the dedicated Yale Security app
  • the dedicated key fob, which is a wireless remote control device very similar to those car clickers used to lock and unlock the vehicle
  • by punching in a unique access code on the numeric keypad which comes with the lock.

Having these options helps users adapt their security solutions to their individual needs and lifestyle peculiarities.

keyless door lock

Allows You to Grant Remote Access

A keyless door lock allows you to remotely extend virtual “keys” to grant temporary access into your home.

Therefore, you’ll be able to let friends and family stopping by unexpectedly in without having to leave work or disrupt your daily schedule to give them a pair of spare keys.

A keyless lock is also great for admitting cleaners, caregivers or family members who have forgotten their access codes. That’s because it allows you to remotely set a PIN code especially for them. The code will expire after a given period of time, so the access you grant is temporary.

What’s more, you’ll be able to keep track of who opens your door, irrespective of your location, which will give you an enhanced level of control.

No matter how you choose to take advantage of this feature, the fact that it provides increased flexibility without compromising safety makes smart locks a smart investment.

A Smart Lock Isn’t Just a Keyless Door Lock

After reading this article, you now know that by investing in a keyless lock, you are actually investing in security, comfort and flexibility.

However, the best way to explore the full array of benefits and the difference it could make in your life is to invest in a keyless system yourself. Regardless of the type of door you have, there is a right smart lock for you.

What’s more, you won’t have to worry about the installation process, as our professional locksmiths can take care of this aspect for you in a time-efficient and professional manner.

Call 0800 0612 677 for a free, no-obligation quote.