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Best Bay Locksmith’s Experts Answering San Franciscans’ Questions on How Keys and Locks Work

The History of Locks

Locks are such a common part of modern life we hardly give them a second thought anymore. But when you come to think of it, locks are in use pretty much anywhere you turn. Furthermore, not many know this, but locks are one of mankind’s first inventions. The first lock that is known today, which is approximately 4,000 years old, was discovered during an archeological excavation in the vicinity of the ancient city of Nineveh. This old key resembles modern tumbler locks that are in use today and had actually inspired their development.

This early locking device consisted of a key, a bolt with a series of little holes carved into it, and a special plate that was fixed to the wall. When the mechanism was locked, little pins that were part of the door fixture would fit into the holes on the bolt, thus connecting the bolt to the door fixture and making it impossible to move the bolt and open the door. Only when the suitable key was inserted into the lock, did the pins release their grip on the bolt and free it to move and unlock the door, thus granting access.

This sounds pretty mundane today, but you have to keep in mind we are talking about 4,000 years old human ingenuity!

How do Locks Work?

The purpose of locks is quite clear. They are meant to keep things, or places, out of reach of those who are not supposed to have access to those things or places. Being sturdy pieces of craftsmanship, these locks usually serve their purpose well as most men remain unable to pry open a lock without professional tools.

Naturally, as decades come and go and mankind continues to grow and evolve, new and more sophisticated locks are invented and old versions of traditional locking devices are further improved. But basically, the fundamental principles of locks remain the same. The most commonly used lock resembles that same old lock from 4,000 years ago. It entails the same parts as that one did, and it functions quite the same. Other locks include the lever tumbler lock, the “Challenge Lock”, the double-acting pin tumbler lock, and the Yale lock, all requiring professional knowledge and tools if one desires to open them without the proper key.

When Locks Falter

There is no doubt that locks are a great invention. However, like all great, and quite frankly, not so great inventions, they sometimes malfunction. Locks can get jammed or stuck, they can get corroded, they can break, and they can wear down.

Whenever your lock, whether it is in your home, office, or garage, gives you a hard time you would be best advised to contact professional locksmiths to take care of the situation. Hiring less than professional service providers means you leave yourself, your property, and your loved ones not as safe as they should be.