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.