Most people know that a locksmith is someone who specializes in making and unlocking locks. If you’ve ever been locked out of your home or car, you probably had to call a locksmith to save the day. Despite still being relevant today, locksmithing is an ancient profession. In fact, the very first depiction of a lock can be seen in the Kamak Egyptian temple, which dates back to 2000 B.C. Over the years, however, the job that these masters of locking do has changed a lot.
The “Smith” in Locksmith
Metalsmiths, which are sometimes just referred to as just smiths, play a key role in how the name came to be. As with any profession that contains the title, locksmiths used to fabricate keys and locks out of metal. Today, locksmiths have to use their tools of the trade to not only repair, adjust and install physical locks but also to deal with electronic locks, which range from biometric locks to cars with keyless entry.
Linus Yale Senior
While the first lock may have been seen on the walls of an Egyptian temple, it didn’t look much like the locks you see in the early 21st century. In 1848, Linus Yale Senior started work on the modern lock. However, it wasn’t until 1861 that his son Linus Yale Junior developed the pin tumbler cylinder lock that is still in use.
Keyholes and the Greeks
While it may have been Linus Senior and his son who created the lock as people know it today, it’s the Greeks who are accredited to the invention of the keyhole. They would use the end of a sickle that was specially shaped to stick into a small hole in a door. Using a rotating motion, the door would slowly be unlocked. These ancient keyholes don’t differ much from the keyholes that people use today.
Becoming a Locksmith
Locksmiths train as apprentices before they become professionals. It often helps if they train in metal fabricating and construction. Since so many locks today are electrical, having some kind of electronics training is very useful as well. In some areas, locksmiths are given titles. This is where the term “master locksmith” comes from. Most of the best locksmiths are willing to work odd hours and are great problem solvers.
If you ever find yourself locked out of anything or a place, call a locksmith. He can get you back into your home or vehicle quickly. Most importantly, most locksmiths offer emergency services, so you won’t have to wait long for them to arrive on the scene. Check out Lock-Up Services Inc if you would like to learn more information.