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The History of Kwikset

Kwikset – Beautiful Security for Years

 In 1946, a new type of lock was invented that would understandably change the course of security. This tubular lock, invented by Adolf Schoepe and Karl Rhinehart differed from those on the market because of the amount of time it saved on installation. Given the name Kwikset, this marvel of technology is still the leader of the industry almost 75 years later.

Booming home construction, and a need for just such innovative locks brought on the need for a new place to manufacture these locks in 1948. Becoming a subsidiary of a larger company, American Hardware Corporation, which specialized in commercial and industrial locks almost 10 years later meant that Kwikset now had the means and backing to take first place in the residential lock market. This ideal partnership enabled Kwikset to bring forth both the unique “K” key design and a previously unimagined plastic coating that would serve to protect the finishes on beautiful brass and bronze sets.

 Shortly thereafter, another remarkable milestone was hit by this flourishing company. By pioneering the new Kwikset rekeying kit, which included segregated sets of Kwikset pins, and were applicable to all of their lock sets, they were able to offer customers a way to begin changing their own locks and keys. In 1964, a new type of “Kwik-see” plastic once again set this company apart from its competition. The clear packaging was, indeed another revolutionary idea in the industry.

A successful merge of Emhart Manufacturing Corporation again allowed Kwikset to enlarge the facilities where locks were manufactured and packaged. A short 25 years later, in 1989, this corporation was purchased by larger and even more well known, Black and Decker. A new location was secured for another manufacturing facility in Texas. Not only does this location produce parts for Kwikset, it also manufactures parts for Price-Pfister faucets and Black & Decker tools.

 A major advancement in the security of residential locks was made in 1992, as Kwikset introduced an even more secure line of products known as the Titan line. Shortly thereafter, a remote keyless entry lockset was introduced to the general public, adding much desired convenience to the stylish and secure designs. In 2000, The line that featured keyless entry was again expanded. The new systems included not only wireless keypads which could be coded for entry, they also included a new security feature of remote lighting.

Once again, another unheard of advancement was made just one year later. This newly introduced product, Kwik-Install, managed to take much of the guesswork out of lock installation by manufacturing the units with pre-installed screws. At this point, the Kwikset Titan line was renamed as the company began to offer three different brands, each with a higher level of security. The newly named lines were:

  • Kwikset Security
  • Kwikset Maximum Security
  • Kwikset UltraMax Security.

 On the verge of celebrating its 60th anniversary, Kwikset made a goal to make style a top priority. By partnering with Price Phister, a new collection was created – the Architecturally Inspired Collections. Just a year later, the company celebrated the original “tubular” lock that, indeed, changed the world of home security for the better.

 In 2007, unique innovation was, indeed, at the forefront when Kwikset introduced its SmartScan biometric-based keyless security technology. By using this new type of fingerprint scan to attain entry into one’s home or office, customers were able to completely do away with the need for either a key or code on their door locks. Those customers still interested in having keypad technology were pleased with the introduction of the SmartCode keyless entry deadbolt that added security while also adding sleek style.

Innovation, creativity, and dedication to style are some of the things that have set Kwikset apart from other lock companies for almost 75 years. It is indeed, a name to be trusted, as shown by recently earning the Best Buy rating from Consumers Digest Magazine. Newer technologies and alternatives to rekeying are certain to bring still more stunning advancements as the company nears three-quarters of a century of security success.

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