The History of Locksmiths

August 06 / 2020

The History of Locksmiths

The moment people attached importance and value to material objects, they realized that it was necessary to keep these objects safe and protected. This cultural and monetary need led to the invention of locks and keys. Over time, they mastered the art of designing, manufacturing and installing locks and keys, the profession of locksmith was formed. This profession is one of the oldest forms of engineering of security devices and instruments.

Beginnings of Locksmiths

In ancient Babylon and Egypt, about 4,000 years ago, locksmiths created wooden tools that utilized the essential principles of pin tumblers to prevent free movement of the large wooden bar that would keep doors closed. The pins could only be shifted with the help of a very large wooden key (which was made in the shape of a modern toothbrush) placed in the lock and moved upwards, unlocking the door. One of these ancient locks was discovered in an excavation of the Assyrian Empire in Khorsabad, near the biblical city of Nineveh. This castle is estimated to be around the year 704 BC.

Medieval Metalwork

The origins of locksmiths can be linked to the profession of blacksmiths. Blacksmiths are engineers who work with metallurgy, forging devices from steel and iron. During the middle Ages, blacksmiths were tasked with military production tools of war (weapons, defense items) for their monarch and leaders. As time went on, some blacksmiths with great skill in locks and keys decided to specialize in this - this is when locksmith, as a specific profession, was born. 
Locksmiths were skilled metal workers, blessed with the knowledge of molding metal of their choice, and the ability to create by hand a wide variety of original pieces to be incorporated into keys, locks, or key and lock filing tools.

Industrial Perfection

When the industrial revolution happened, locksmiths became an absolutely priceless and necessary part of society. After mastery of advanced metallurgy, locks and keys were made to be much more durable. Many locksmiths were able to modify and improve designs that had not changed for generations. As industrial mass production was mastered, the field of locksmiths began to change. Cheaper industrial locks took the business away from skilled individual craftsmen - splitting the trade into three domains - those repairing industrial locks (mixed in with individual pieces or repair aspects of factory-made locks, the ones copying keys for citizens who need more have for personal use, and those outsourced to major security companies designing massive security vaults for banks, museums and governments.

Today most locksmiths work, like us at Colorado Springs Locksmith, from a store - a central point where they complete most or all of their work. They use hardware meant to communicate with doors - hinges, window fixes, closers, etc.), as well as custom security layers for settings (creating many layers of locks that protect against forced entry) or work in special areas - such as forensics locksmiths (those who determine the method of entry for police investigations) or automotive locksmith experts specializing in the design and repair of car locks. It's pretty amazing to think how much variety, skills and expertise there is in locksmiths today - it's been a long drive since ancient Assyria, but locksmiths remain a necessary staple of any working society.
Despite the history and many sides of the profession, Colorado Springs Locksmith is a versatile brand as we boast of a myriad of locksmiths who are bonded and certified to deliver exceptional services to both residential and commercial facilities. Give us a call and experience the difference in service delivery.

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