Locks and keys are objects that we interact with every single day – yet very few of us think of them throughout the day. However, these everyday objects are fully loaded with a vast history of (not only) security usefulness – but also a major link to the illustrious histories of many cultures throughout the world. Here’s a guide to some amazingly interesting lock and key facts that you may have never heard, as prepared by the locksmith experts here at LocksmithMAN.

  • In ancient China, only the wealthiest had locks and keys – and Chinese emperors and other nobility had padlocks that were animal shaped as everything from goats to fish!

  • Married Viking women held the responsibility of being the keeper of the family keys, which was a vast honor. Many Viking women sewed keys to their dresses to wear as a status symbol.

  • The new lock designs we use today were invented in the 19th century as a way to stop thieves from lockpicking.

  • The locks at Fort Knox, the place where the United States’ gold reserve is held, are protected with codes that change every single day.

  • There’s an account of a parrot named Magic picking two padlocks that locked his cage in order to fly away!

  • The oldest locks date to Ancient Egypt – it was found in a cave and is over 4,000 years old.

  • Rope knots are also considered an early form of locks, as used by sailors to guard against tampering and to indicate when somebody was trying to meddle with their property.

  • In Medieval times, towns would entrust the keys to their property to a designated keykeeper who held ALL the keys of the town!

  • Locks used to be made of wood – which breaks so much more easily than metal!

  • The first combination lock was invented in 1857 by James Sargent of Vermont, who started the Sargent and Greenleaf lock making company, still in operation today!

  • In the Tower of London in England, there is a nightly Ceremony of the Keys in which guards ritually lock the tower’s doors!

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