House keys on the wall of a locksmith shop in La Grange, IllinoisIn modern times, most individuals are well aware of what locksmithing is. After all, locks exist in essentially every facet of our lives. Society has become so exposed to them that there’s rarely even a thought about a time in which they didn’t exist.

Nevertheless, there was a time. Yes, it was a long, long time ago, but it most certainly did exist. Wondering how we got from then to now? Then read on. This is the history of locksmithing as told by a La Grange locksmith.

The Origins of Locksmithing

Recorded history indicates that locksmithing began in approximately 2000 BC. This occurred in the countries of Babylon and Egypt, specifically.

Now, the first locks weren’t technologically sophisticated, by any means. In fact, they were extremely crude, made out of wood and an array of pins. Nevertheless, they provided a decent level of security. They, at the very least, acted as a deterrent to potential thieves.

They must have been fairly impressive at the time, as they eventually became popular enough to make their way to the city of Rome. Once there, in the hands of the Ancient Roman Empire, they were primed to evolve.

0 – 1000 AD

Though the Ancient Romans made small improvements to the aforementioned rudimentary locks, they didn’t make any significant developments right away. In fact, it would be a thousand years before locks would change in any meaningful way. This is when the invention of metal locks came about (in roughly 875 AD).

Metal locks were made out of iron and brass, specifically. Known as “bolt locks”, they were fashioned by locksmiths. Soon after their invention, they began to spread throughout Europe, eventually ending up in Asia.

1000 – 1500 AD

By the 14th century, locks had become more than just locks. They were ornaments as well, indicating an individual’s standing in society. As such, they took on a more artistic style, designed with unique grooves and inscriptions.

This was brought on by the improved training and expertise of locksmiths. They had become better-versed in the shaping of metals, and they were able to provide much greater aesthetic variety in the locks they created.

1500 – 2000 AD

Though locks had become aesthetically beautiful, they hadn’t developed much in terms of functionality. That is until the 1700s, when locksmiths began taking advantage of improved metal shaping capabilities. These capabilities enabled locks and keys to not only be aesthetically pleasing, but more durable and secure as well.

Then, in the 1800s, the industrial revolution began. This would result in the mass production of locks and keys, making them more accessible to more individuals, and allowing for greater personal security on a societal level.

Nonetheless, locks hadn’t yet been “perfected”. Though this topic is open to interpretation, some might say that this “perfection” occurred in the 20th century. In the 1900s, a number of different locks were created, including doorknob locks, cylinder locks, and padlocks. At the tail end of the 20th century, electronic locks were created as well.

Present Day

These days, all types of locks are used — from electric strike locks to smart locks to cylindrical locks and much, much more. Today’s locks are equal parts functional and aesthetically impressive. Whether you’re installing locks on a home or a commercial property, there are a number of options available to you.

Looking to Utilize the Services of an La Grange Locksmith?

Do you have any need for the services of an La Grange locksmith? If so, the locksmiths at Suburban Door Check & Lock Service are here to help.

We’ve been in business since 1963, providing a range of locksmithing services throughout the La Grange area. Whether you need lock installation, maintenance, or repair, we’re the people to call.

Contact us today to discuss your needs!