The History of Yale Locks, a Staple in the Locking Industry

Can you imagine going to bed at night or leaving the house without locking your doors and windows? Luckily, you don’t have to.

Locks came a long way since their early beginnings nearly 4000 years ago and they are now a top solution for protecting our homes.

However, none of this would be possible without the innovative work of leading companies, such as Yale.¬†Yale locks¬†will forever be¬†linked to the evolution and progress of the locking industry and by the time you reach the end of this article, you’ll see why.

Yale Locks – How the Story Began

Yale is one of the oldest international brands in the world and its roots can be traced back to colonial America. The Yale family immigrated to the New World from North Wales. A few generations later, in 1840, Linus Yale Sr. started working on the first Yale locks at his shop in Newport, New York.

Linus Yale Sr. specialised inexpensive, handmade, high-security bank locks, but it was when his son, Yale Jr., joined the business in 1850 the company started to pick up steam.

Yale locks

A Few of Yale’s Top Breakthroughs and Patents

After getting aboard the family business, Linus Yale Jr. started working on perfecting his father’s¬†pin tumbler cylinder lock – an innovation at that time.

Inspired by the original 1840s design, Yale Jr. created his most important invention: the Yale cylinder lock. The mechanism used pins of varying lengths to stop the lock from opening without the correct key.

In addition to the pins within the lock itself, he also patented a flat, saw-edged key needed to open the lock. The same design is widely employed across the world today.

Another innovation we couldn’t leave out is the¬†Monitor Bank Lock which was introduced on the market in 1862 by Yale Jr.¬† This was a turning point as far as bank locks were concerned as it marked the transition from key locks to dial or combination locks.

The same principles Yale Jr. used to create the Monitor Lock are now standard in combination locks across the United States of America.

Between 1843 and 1857, Yale registered eight patents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in regards to the pin tumbler safe lock, safe lock, bank lock, vault and safe door bolt and padlock.

This impressive record of patents made the Yale name weigh heavy in the locking industry.

How Yale Became an International Brand

Yale Jr’s contributions to the progress of locks didn’t go unnoticed as he was widely recognised as one of the¬†important locking experts of his time.

His reputation, sheer brilliance and the Yale locks patents set the right premises for the company’s worldwide expansion.

In 1868, Yale Jr. and his colleague Henry Towne founded the Yale & Towne company. Through acquisitions and joint ventures with other companies in the industry, the company expanded his operations worldwide.

In the early 20th century, the company which started out with just 35 workers employed more than 12,000 people all over the world.

Yale Locks

The Yale Company Today

In August 2000, Yale was purchased by¬†ASSA ABLOY,¬†but it continues to provide top security solutions which live up to Yale’s remarkable legacy.

Also, the company has expanded its area of expertise. In addition to traditional security products range, Yale’s offering now covers a broad spectrum of security solutions, including:

If you want to monitor and control your home security remotely in a convenient manner using Yale’s home security range, we can help. Lockrite is an¬†official¬†Yale Smart Security partner¬†and our trained locksmiths can take care of installing and maintaining your choice of Yale security products.

Contact us and get more details today.

Got Yourself Locked out of Your House? Here’s What You Can Do

So you’re locked out of your house. What are you supposed to do now?

Most commonly, a lockout situation occurs when you’ve left your keys inside and you have a lock which automatically bolts when you close the door. However, this can also happen as a result of you losing or misplacing your set of keys.

Whatever the reason, the information in this article can help you be more prepared when facing a lockout situation and keep the panicking to a minimum.

Start with Your List of Contacts

It’s easy to lose your nerve when you find yourself locked out of your house – especially if you’re in a rush to get to work.

Our suggestion is to start with the most straightforward solutions which can solve your problem as soon as possible. For instance:

  • If you have roommates or family members, ask them if they can swing by and help you get back inside.
  • Have you given a spare key to a trusted neighbour or a friend who lives close by? If you did, it will come in handy in case you’re locked out of your house.

Of course, it’s always¬†better¬†to be prepared and taking a few preventive steps can prove to be extremely¬†useful in helping you avoid a home lockout. We posted an entire article on this topic not long ago.

You can read it here.

locked out of your house

Try All of the Doors and Windows to Find a Way in

We never recommend leaving a window or door open when leaving the house, but on the chance you did,¬†you can use it to get back into your home. Walk around your property to see if there’s any way to get in.

You can also try a ladder to reach an opened second-story window.

However (this is important):

  • Don’t try to break things (be it doors, locks, windows) to get inside. You’ll likely end up having to pay more money for repairing the damage you’ve done than you would have to spend on the services of a professional locksmith. And it will be more time-consuming, as well.
  • Don’t try to get into your home through a door or window if it puts you at risk of injury.¬†

locked out of your house

Locked out of Your House? Contact Us in Case of an Emergency

More often than not, the best thing you could do in the case of a lockout situation is to play it safe. In other words, call a local locksmith in your area and wait it out.

An expert will use special techniques to help you gain entry without causing any unnecessary damage to your locks or doors. Also, they can most likely offer valuable advice on how to avoid a similar situation from happening to you in the future.

So, if you need a locksmith right now, you can contact us at this number: 0800 0612 677 for a free, no-obligation quote.

We specialise in emergency, non-destructive entry and provide top services throughout the UK, 7 days a week, 24/7.

One of our trained locksmiths can be at your home within 30-60 minutes to help you get back inside.

This 17th-Century Smart “Detector Lock” Would Baffle Any 21st-Century Thief

Keyless smart locks, fingerprint passcodes, voice-activated control; these are just a few examples which show how far home security has come over the years.

However, while it is true that the technology has been continuously developing, the need for increased home safety Рand solutions to provide it Рis not anything new.

In fact, precursors of today’s smart locks¬†can be traced back to circa 1680. One of them is now¬†in the collection of the¬†Victoria and Albert Museum¬†in London.

The “smart detector lock was made by¬†British locksmith John Wilkes in¬†Birmingham, England,¬†more than three centuries ago. However, its clever mechanics and details are likely to stump most of today’s burglars.

Read on to learn more about it.

The Smart Detector Lock Is Packed with Clever Security Features

John Wilkes’ craftsmanship and attention to details when devising the detector lock are impressive.

The lock was made of brass and engraved steel and has a cast steel key. Such a lock was most commonly fitted to the door of private closets where expensive valuables were kept.

It was also used on doors of rooms where important business meetings took place. So, the locks’ special security features were meant to mislead those who wanted to gain unwarranted access and make entry as difficult as possible.

  • The image of a soldier holding a pointer is beautifully embossed on the lock cover, with the man’s front leg concealing the keyhole.¬†The leg operates on a pivot and swings¬†forward¬†to reveal the keyhole on the press of a button.
  • The door-bolt is released to secure the lock by tilting the man’s hat. When coupled with a turn of the knob, the same action opens the lock.
  • The use of the key combined with the additional actions needed to operate the lock creates a two-factor security system; a mechanism meant to provide double protection which is still found in locks today.
  • When turned inside the keyhole, the key activates both of the lock’s bolts. Fully shooting the main bolt requires a¬†further turn.

smart detector lock

Another aspect you may find interesting is there’s an engraved inscription on the front of the lock. The marking reads:

“If I had ye gift of tongue
I would declare and do no wrong
Who ye are ye come by stealth
To impair my Master’s wealth.”

Of course, the engraving doesn’t exactly fit the conventional sense of a security feature, but it does support the purpose of discouraging potential thieves and it’s an exciting addition nevertheless.

You can have a look at all these spectacular details in the video below:


The Lock Allowed Owners to Know if the Door Was Opened in Their Absence

Modern locks provide high-tech solutions, such as remote viewing via an app and real-time alerts, to make it possible for homeowners to keep an eye on their properties when they are away.

Homeowners who lived more than 300 years ago also wanted to know what was going on at home in their absence.¬†Although it can’t compare to what today’s smart locks offer, Wilkes’ lock model encompasses a sophisticated feature which addresses that need, as well.

And it’s most likely the most intriguing part of the entire smart detector lock.

You see, the reason it’s called a detector lock¬†is that it counts each time it is unlocked by rotating a disk.

The number indicated by a pointer on the numbered disk told the owners if the door had been opened in their absence (and how many times).

The numbers on the counter dial go all the way up to 100. When the dial reached 100, the main bolt can be locked – but not released.

A tiny button on the lock (strategically placed on the man’s jacket) allows the dial to be reset.

One Last Thing Before You Go

The need for home security is a defining part of modern civilisations and it’s safe to say it will continue to be so. This, of course, makes room for new devices and innovations meant to meet new challenges and make life easier.

But there’s no denying the significant role which past locksmiths, such as John Wilkers, have played in shaping the industry.

If you enjoyed learning about this smart detector lock and want to know whenever we post a new article on our blog, then make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

How Smart Home Technology Can Help You Save Money

The popularity of smart home devices has increased in the last few years and for good reason. They not only keep our home safe and give us peace of mind, but they can also help us save money.

Even though smart home technology can be a little bit pricier than your regular home devices, on the long-term, it can prove to be a solid investment.

Are you curious to find out how to save money with smart home tech? Then keep reading to find out what type of devices can help you with this.

1. Smart LED Lighting

Smart LED bulbs not only last a lot longer, but they also use way less energy than incandescent light bulbs.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, you can save up to £35 per year on your electricity bills by simply switching to LED lighting.

There are many different companies you can buy smart lights from. The majority of them allow you to control the lights remotely through your smartphone, even when you’re not at home.

This means you can check at every moment if you’ve left the light on and turn it off, if necessary.

smart home technology

2. Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats can help you make better decisions when it comes to how much heat you’re using. This type of smart home technology can also make recommendations on how you can cut back on heating and save money on your energy bills.

They can be remotely controlled which will help you manage the heating settings more efficiently, even when you’re not at home.

First Utility and EDF Energy, two major energy suppliers in the UK, are encouraging people to switch to smart thermostats. A few months ago, both companies offered smart thermostats devices for free to those who decided to sign up for their services.

3. Remote Power Management

On a daily basis, we don’t realise how much energy we’re actually using even when we don’t need it. We leave the lights on, electronics, appliances and other devices plugged in.

According to the Co-operative Energy, we can save up to £80 a year by simply switching off electronics, rather them leaving them on standby mode.

So even if you forget to turn off certain electronic devices before you left your home, you can control the power of your outlets through a smart device.

4. Smart Showerheads

We all love spending a few extra minutes in the shower, whether we want to relax in the evening or we need that extra boost in the morning.

The downside of this activity is that a lot of wasted water is going down the drain or money for that matter.

Smart showerheads are able to manage the water flow, so it helps you minimise the water consumption. Some devices will even display how many gallons of water you’ve actually used.

According to Express, the average water bill in the UK can go up to £405 for households per year, so a smart showerhead can truly be a money-saver.

What Type of Smart Home Technology Will You Be Using?

smart home technology

We hope this article will inspire you to take action and start saving money by taking advantage of smart home technology.

There are plenty of manufacturers you can choose from, so you can definitely find the device which suits your needs and your home environment.

Don’t forget to check our blog for more articles on smart homes.