Lock History – Mechanical Locks


Securing one’s property has long been a concern of people throughout the world. Besides hiding one’s belongings or constantly guarding them, the most frequent option is to secure them in a safe place.


Early solutions included knots like the Thief knot. Fortunately, men’s ingeniosity rapidly brought new and more efficient solutions. Wooden locks and keys were in use as early as 4,000 years ago in Assyria. Later, Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations developed other locks and closing device.

Pin Lock

Pin lock became the safest solutions, numerous improvements enhanced its security, increasing the number of pins or changing the orientation of the pins for example. This lead to the modern pin tumbler lock widely spread in our modern society today.

Warden Lock

Next was developed the warded lock that is still used today. It is the first lock design to have a key recognizable to a modern person. Lock puzzles were used to obscure the locking mechanism or even provide a non-functioning lock for the thief to waste time on.


Astonishingly, locks changed little over the following 1,700 years or so. Everything evolved quickly starting in the 18th century with new inventions that lead to modern locks. Famous locksmiths like Robert Barron, Joseph Bramah, James Sargent and Linus Yale Senior than Junior greatly improved lock security.