Brief History Of Locksmiths

Briefly put, locksmithing is the science of lock making and defeating. Most people also consider the trade to be an art as well, and in many parts of the world, locksmiths are required to complete an apprenticeship before they are allowed to practice. Some countries may ask future locksmiths to get a training certificate issued by an employer, while others may require an engineering college diploma.

Most people will hire a locksmith at some point in their life, whether to have a lock changed or repaired, or a new key made for their home, car or office space. Knowing a few things about the interesting history of locksmiths will help you know what to expect when picking up the phone and calling a nearby locksmith service.

Locksmith Terminology

Locks are those mechanisms that keep rooms, buildings or cabinets secure. The term “Smith” refers to the person who shapes metal pieces with the help of forges and turns them into useful objects. Therefore, locksmithing is the assembly of locks and their corresponding keys.

The First Locks/Locksmiths

It is fair to say that the very first historically known key was traced back more than 6,000 years ago in Ancient Egypt. It was similar to a large wooden bolt that had holes in it. Lots of people consider this lock to be the forefather of the pin-tumbler lock we use today.

The Ancient Greeks are considered to have invented the keyholes, while the Romans are responsible for introducing the metal lock to the human race for the first time in history. They used their impressive artisan skills to make simple forms of padlocks that featured smaller keys compared to their Egyptian counterparts. The Romans are also responsible for creating warded locks, many of which we continue to use even now.

Locksmiths used to spend hours cutting screws by hand and filing the locks they made from scratch. During the 18th century, the design of locks started to get even more complicated, with locksmiths specializing in fixing or designing locks more than ever.

Thanks to the industrial revolution and the boost of cheap mass production locks, most of them were fixed by simply swapping faulty parts. The majority of locks were upgraded to mass-production items, with the exception of large vaults that continue to be custom made and built at high costs even today.

Locksmiths are best known for their ability to replace lost keys to homes or cars or change keys and locks for security reasons. However, the modern-day lock technician is more involved in the installation of high-quality sets of locks, as well as designing and managing key control systems, the installation and repair of electronic locks, transponder key re-programming and key fob making, or implementing access control systems that can keep individuals and their possessions better protected.

Physical Activities The Job Requires

Locksmiths usually assess the level of risk associated with each customer or institution and recommend the most suitable solutions. They also put their recommendations into practice using their professional tools and equipment and they create layers of security that can keep potential intruders away.

The more security layers get to be implemented, the more tools and policies are needed to put them into practice. Locksmiths drive their own mobile trucks or vans to the destinations they are required to each and carry heavy toolboxes consisting of lock picking tools lock repair gear, blank and space keys for the most common types of locks, specializes key cutting equipment, lubricants for locks and keys and the list goes on.

The main struggle is not to exceed the reasonable costs and estimates provided to the customer at the beginning of the job.

Education Requirements

In order for a person to become a professional locksmith, they must first attend a technical school or get training on the job for at least one month an up to a year. There are some American states that require locksmiths to own a license in order to work in the trade. The Associated Locksmiths of America is one of the most popular and highly reputable licensing bodies in the locksmithing trade.

The Job Outlook For Locksmiths

Locksmithing is a job that gives people the freedom to work out of a storefront, on the go out of the van, as part of an institution as an employee, or as a forensic locksmith specialized in investigational activities. Locksmiths can also specialize in just one aspect of the job, such as commercial, residential or automotive, or they can become security consultants. It is also possible for a lock technician to get certified in a certain skill area or even turn into "Master Locksmiths", even though not all locksmiths with these titles are also fully trained for it.

Glancing at the current advancements in terms of smart technologies, it is safe to say that electronic and smart alarms will continue to grow in popularity over the next few years. This automatically means there should also be a growth in demand for them, keeping locksmiths busy. Old-school lock technicians who refuse to embrace the inevitable changes in the industry are more likely to get left behind and even lose their business because of their refusal to step up and into the future of smart fingerprint or voice-controlled locks and wireless alarm systems.

With one home burglar visiting a residential home in the US once every 18 seconds according to official FBI statistics, people will continue to worry about their safety and care about their protection while at home, at the ob or even while driving or parking their cars. More than thirty percent of home burglaries occur through the front door, because of a poor-quality/improperly installed or used lock, or a door or window that has remained unlocked. Having electronic locks that automatically seal the doors behind us and cannot be opened with regular lock picking tools criminals use will eliminate most of the risks. This is where skilled locksmiths updated with the latest lock and security technologies come into the picture, making the job outlook a positive one in the upcoming decades.


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