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

yale locks

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.

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