Most people in need of a locksmith probably don’t give much thought to locksmithing or its history. Instead their focus and goal is to either have their locks repaired/replaced and/or regain entry to their home, automobile, or place of business. Locksmithing however is not a new trade as some individuals seem to think. Quite the opposite is true actually as locksmithing has been around for roughly 4000 years.
Prior to a locksmith being an actual trade or title, people would often protect their belongings and precious keepsakes by living in tightknit communities and banding together. While this undoubtedly gave people a fair amount of comfort and protected their belongings to some degree where ever there are people there is greed, envy, and theft. The ancient Egyptians were the first documented peoples to recognize this and were also the first peoples to utilize locks and keys.
In the early days of locksmithing locks and keys were considered luxuries and were utilized only by wealthy individuals, nobles, and of course Pharaohs. This is also true of other early civilizations who utilized locks and keys. Wealthy and persons of note who lived in ancient Greece, Rome, and even Persia all enjoyed the luxury of locking their valuables and hiding their keys.
In these ancient civilizations locksmithing usually included the use of trunks or other devices that would close and lock. There were no large complex locks, biometric or electronic locks, and no complicated keys involved in these early devices. These devices are typically a device that would open and close along side some type of simple padlock or keylock. Suffice to say many of these early devices were easily circumvented by tenacious criminals filled with avarice.
Over the centuries locksmithing became a refined trade and incorporated more and more complicated devices in an effort to deter individuals with unscrupulous motives and desires. As the 19th and 20th centuries came and passed locksmithing slowly became a trade that catered not only to the wealthy and privileged but to those of meager and modest means as well. During these times locksmiths also became persons whom individuals could turn to when they found themselves locked out of their homes, places of business, and eventually automobiles.
Modern locksmiths do everything that the locksmiths of old do but can also assist individuals in the setting up of security systems, the repair and replacement of electronic or biometric locks, and some even offer security services whereby they contact both an individual and the police should an unwanted entry or break-in occur. While the history of locksmithing maybe something most people aren’t aware of when the need for a locksmith arises individuals will be glad that the person helping them possesses all of this knowledge and then some.