The professionals at Pro-Lock & Safe offer a variety of safe locksmith services, including residential, automotive, commercial, and sales. There is a wide range of differing kinds of locks that you might have to deal with in each of these areas. In an upcoming blog series, we will take a look at the different kinds of locks you might come across. Before we dive into the impressive variety of modern-day lock technologies, let’s take a look at the world’s oldest lock. A strong foundational knowledge can help you make the most informed decisions and find a safe locksmith in your area. Contact Pro-Lock & Safe for all your locksmith needs in the Felton area.

The 6,000-Year-Old Lock

In a previous post, we looked at the history of the safe. But safes wouldn’t be able to function without an effective lock. In that post, we discussed how the first person to have a safe on record was Pharaoh Ramesses II during the 13th century B.C.E. This ancient Egyptian safe would have been roughly 3,300 years old. Calculating the oldest lock is a bit trickier, however. For one, it depends on exactly how a lock is defined.

There are records of proto-locks being used in even the earliest parts of human civilization, some 10,000 years ago. The rudimentary locks were put together using rope or rope-like material. The purpose of these “locks” was little more than to detect tampering or as an indication that someone had attempted to steal a precious item. Technology quickly advanced, however, and humanity invented the earliest mechanical locks. The oldest mechanical lock on record is estimated at 6,000 years old, several hundred years older than the earliest safe. This was the first step toward having the luxury of a safe locksmith.

What Was the Earliest Lock Like?

There is debate amongst archaeologists as to which civilization created the very first mechanical lock. It appears that the development of mechanical lock technology was independently conceived in Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

The oldest lock on record, however, appears to have been constructed in Ancient Egypt. This lock was built using wood. It was a very basic pin tumbler lock, meaning that the lock used pins of varying lengths that then required an early form of a key to open. The key could be inserted into a mechanism that would allow for pins to move in a specific manner, which would, in turn, allow for a bolt to be removed. The lock was affixed to a door and would have effectively kept out unwanted visitors.

Advancing Lock Technology

This type of simple, wooden pin tumbler lock would remain the peak of mechanical technology (as far as we know) for many millennia. It wouldn’t be until the first-century B.C.E that mechanical lock technology would make any notable strides. At this point, the Ancient Greeks and Romans began experimenting with different kinds of materials for constructing locks. The biggest leap forward was the incorporation of metals into mechanical locks, which would bring us one step closer to the secure locks and safe locksmiths we enjoy today.

The Safe Locksmiths at Pro-Lock & Safe

Exploring the history of the world’s earliest locks can help us appreciate how far the technology has come. We will, as mentioned, explore the variety of locks and the technological leaps of safe locksmithing in future blog posts. In the meantime, Pro-Lock & Safe is here to answer all of your lock and locksmith questions. We offer knowledgeable and safe locksmiths in the Felton area. Contact us today to learn more.