|A brief history of the lock...
Primitive man made his first attempt at safeguarding personal property
when he rolled a boulder in front of his cave. As civilization developed,
he looked for more cosmic security concepts an ended up casting magic spells
over the cave portal.
The boulder, he discovered to his chagrin, kept strangers away much
more effectively than spells. Back to the drawing board.
Egyptians offered their solution eons later about 2000 BC, with the
world's first key-operated locking devices. To their delight, it was both
more convenient than a boulder or fire and more effective than magic spells.
Comparing the oldest types of locks and keys known to us with those
used up to the period of the Middle Ages, it must be said that since the
time of the ancient Romans an Greeks these safety devices have undergone
hardly any changes in design, construction or finish. In fact it was not
until the early apart of the medieval period that the social developments
in Germany had their influence also on the technique of the locks and keys
and it is for this reason the Middle Ages may rightly be called the second
important period of the technical development of the lock and key.
The expert smith devoted himself not only to the manufacture of hinges
and ornamental iron work for doors but also to the production of lock and
keys, and it is evident that this all round sense of beauty was extended
t and reflected tin the artistic design of those locks and keys; in fact
it was the smiths strong leaning toward artistic design that in fact that
proved detrimental to the security and practical size of the product.
A good number of locks and keys of those days have been collected by
The Lock Museum of Orange County and may be considered lasting witness
of the exquisite taste and high craftsman ship of that and many other periods.