The History of Locksmithing

 The History of Locksmithing

In modern times, locksmiths work for such varied employers as security services, hospitals, schools and colleges, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And, of course, locksmiths are the people who get called at one a.m. when folks are locked out of their homes and cars. The history of locksmithing is rich, varied and intriguing. As you market your locksmithing business, think about ways to capitalize on the history. You could have an infographic timeline, for example, or a blog post on the history of key blanks. Another post could discuss common locksmith tools. To get started, here is an overview on the history of locksmithing.

4,000 Years Ago

A lot was going on about 4,000 years ago.  Huge temples were being built, mathematics was flourishing, and people in Babylon and ancient Egypt began working as locksmiths. They developed devices made of wood, and these devices required cumbersome operations in order to release their pins and provide access to the goods they protected. One of these locks was made about 704 BC and was excavated in Khorsabad, near Nineveh.

A Shift to More Durable Designs

The Romans had keys and security covered. Securitas, a goddess, provided security and stability, and Janus reigned over locks and gates, keeping bad people from entering safe places. The Romans used metal locks along with their wooden counterparts, but it was not until the 18th century that metal locks spread far and wide. Thanks to advances in metallurgy, locksmiths used metal to develop keys and locks that did so much more than previous designs. This shift, however, did have the unintended consequence of robbing locksmiths of some of their mystique. Mass production and widespread usage of keys and locks forced locksmiths to specialize more and more.

A Focus on Specialization

When mass production and widespread use of locks occurred, locksmiths specialized in areas such as key replication, security work or industrial lock repair. At this time in human history, locksmith tools include blank keys, key gauges, plug spinners and more. Locksmiths may choose to work with a residential focus, a commercial focus or a focus on vehicles. They can earn certifications such as Certified Master Locksmith and join groups such as the Associated Locksmiths of America, founded in 1956.

Along with specialization, perhaps ironically, has come an expansion of a locksmith’s job description. For example, to stay in the business, many locksmiths focus on security as a whole, with some performing on-site security assessments for residential and business customers. Some locksmiths add services such as security intercom installments to their broader base of services.

Moving to Digital Locks

Technological advances have brought expanded locksmith possibilities. With digital locks, for example, a person no longer needs a physical key. He or she only needs to memorize a short combination of numbers to gain access to his or her house, or vehicle. Locks can be controlled remotely; in fact, a large number of cars are locked and unlocked via remote controls. There is still a great need for locksmiths, but the business continues to evolve, as it has for thousands of years.

Ordinary People as Locksmiths

Many locks are mass produced and sold in so many stores that even ordinary people can get a taste of locksmithing. They can pop out to a retail store, buy deadbolts for their home, and install them the same day. Of course, this approach has many disadvantages, and locksmiths help ensure optimal security.

It is important to let your clients and prospective clients know what you can do for them as a locksmith. To ensure your continued success, specialize while remaining flexible and adaptable. At CLK Supplies, you can buy a wide range of locksmith tools such as key blanks, drill bits, installation tools and locksmith software.

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