A collection of artistic, intricate keys.

We use keys and lock doors every day, and we probably take these mechanisms for granted, but once upon a time, they didn’t even exist! In today’s blog, we want to highlight the value of locks and keys, celebrating how much they’ve evolved to protect us and our valuables, by sharing some fascinating facts with you.

Antique Chinese Locks Had Animal Shapes

Not surprisingly, only the wealthiest members of society could afford to own locks and keys. In Ancient China, emperors and other members of nobility had padlocks that were fashioned after animals, including goats and fish.

Viking Women Used Keys As A Status Symbol

Among the Vikings of yore, married women held the responsibility of being keepers of the family keys; many wore their status proudly, sewing keys to their dresses to reflect their power.

People Love To Collect Locks And Keys

There’s a certain allure to old keys and locks, so much that many people enjoy collecting them, especially particular types. Locks and keys that are especially collectible include prison locks, military keys, and intricate puzzle locks.

New Lock Designs Came About In Response To Lock Picking

Back in the 19th century, locksmiths scrambled to find ways to deter thieves from picking locks. The resulting efforts led to innovations in lock-and-key designs, some of which are still used today by home locksmiths.

Codes For Unlocking Fort Knox Change Daily

A significant portion of the United States’ gold reserves is securely kept at Fort Knox. It is one of the most secure buildings in the world; staff going in through the locked front door must enter codes that are constantly changing.

Birds Can Pick Locks

There’s a documented 2014 account of a parrot named Magic picking his way through not one, but TWO padlocks on his cage to escape to freedom!

Ancient Locks Date Back 4,000 Years

One of the oldest locks ever found dates back to Ancient Egypt; it was discovered in a cave and is believed to be over 4,000 years old. Many historians surmise that locks were developed by the ancient Egyptians.

Early Security Measures Involved Knots

Especially popular with sailors to guard their belongings, knots in ropes were used to guard against tampering and to indicate when someone did try to meddle!

Locksmiths Were Craftsmen

Early locks were not only installed by locksmiths, but handcrafted by them, too. Traditional locks were cleverly handmade, customized to suit the application.

Apprenticeships Are Alive And Well In The Locksmith Industry

To become good locksmiths, many promising lock-and-key specialists first undergo an apprenticeship to learn the ins and outs of security systems (which have grown in complexity, particularly in recent years).

Call to action for locksmiths and security experts.

Medieval Era Key Keepers

Would you entrust your keys to a designated key keeper? In many towns during medieval times, that’s exactly what the people did. Instead of keeping their own keys to their homes, the townspeople had a special guard who was the keeper of ALL the keys.

Wooden Locks

Nowadays, they’d probably be too easy to break into, but centuries ago, locks were not made of metal; they were constructed from wood.

House Keys Rule

The most common types of keys in existence today are house keys, followed closely by car keys.

Duplicate Keys

Keys were made to be unique, until 1917. This was the year when key duplicating was devised. A wheel was used to cut a blank key into the same shape as the original.

Combination Locks

The first combination lock came about in 1857. It was invented by James Sargent, an American locksmith and businessman born in Vermont. In 1865 he established the Sargent and Greenleaf lock manufacturing company that’s still in operation today.

Ceremony Of The Keys

At the Tower of London in England, the Ceremony of the Keys takes place every night as guards partake in the ritual of locking the tower doors.

Your Locksmith In Albuquerque

As you can see, there’s a rich and interesting history associated with locks and keys, and we at Bill’s Lock & Key enjoy playing a part in that important tradition by serving the residents of Albuquerque and surrounding communities through reliable locksmith services. Whether you’re looking for a trusted home locksmith to rekey your locks, or you need help getting into your locked vehicle, we’re here to help. Contact us today for all your lock-and-key related needs!