Facts You Didn’t Know About Locks and Keys

Let’s be honest; locks and keys are essential in our daily lives. Whether you are protecting your home, office, or car, you can find them almost everywhere. These are used in a wide range of consumer safety and security applications.

Plus, they provide a simple and effective way to protect our belongings from theft. Without them, thieves would find it much easier to enter our homes, businesses, and cars.

However, did you know there is more to these seemingly original things than the visual ones? Even if you are familiar with a very basic key structure, there are certain things that you’re probably unaware of.

In this article, we will look at some of the interesting facts about locks and keys.

Locks Date Back 4,000 Years

Although modern technology has led to new and more efficient locks, some of the oldest surviving locks have been found in the ancient Egyptian ruins near Nineveh. In Egypt, archaeologists found wooden bolts dated to about 2,000 B.C.

Archaeologists and researchers have found fossils in a cave that is believed to be more than 4,000 years old, and many Egyptian mummies were also found with locks in their graves.

It is believed that these wooden locks were used on the doors. Wood locks were similar to locks on doors today, but they were made of wood, despite being of metal.

Locks older than this are still to be found, as the locks at that time included a wooden slide that slipped through space. Therefore, a wooden slab is unlikely to be identified as part of the lock if the archaeologists discover them today.

Components of the Locks

A typical lock consists of three parts: the body, the chain, and the lock. In a lock, the chain is a U-shaped piece of metal, while the body is a large square – or rectangular-shaped piece where the chain is inserted.

Lastly, the locking mechanism is an internal component responsible for opening and closing the lock.

A Symbol of Status for Viking women

During the Viking era, women were highly respected and often had the responsibility of being the family’s main breadwinner. Many women took this responsibility with pride, sewing keys on their garments to show their power and status in their communities and homes.

Early Locksmiths Were Craftsmen

Locksmiths were not only known for installing locks, but they also made them. This meant that locksmiths had important controls and knowledge of their installed locks. Also, most of these locks were cleverly designed and customized to fit the application.

Birds Know How to Pick Locks

Not all birds, but according to the BBC, a parrot in the United Kingdom did not choose one, but two of the car keys skipped over a few million years ago. (If the birds can pick up locks, we will all need to look closer at those sea creatures when we visit the beach.)

In 2017, a parrot named Magic picked his path by using two different padlocks in his cage. This surprised her owners, who were on vacation then, and shocked the whole world.

People Love To Collect Locks and Keys

There is a certain attraction to old keys and locks. For the same reason, most people enjoy collecting them, especially certain types. Baseball cards and stamps are not the only things people collect these days.

The collected locks and keys mainly include prison, military, and complex keys, especially if they are historical, intricate, or contain an exciting story.

Duplicate Keys

Duplication of keys might seem like an old process, but it did not begin until the early 20th century. Before that, each key was made separate until 1917. This was the year in which the main copying process was designed. A wheel was used to cut a blank key in the same shape as before.

Woods for Locks

Centuries ago, locks were not made of metal; they were made of wood. For obvious reasons (i.e., it is very easy to break), wooden locks have not been popular for a long time. But they were often the easiest way to make a lock, even if they were not long-lasting before metal locks became bland.

Changing Codes of Fort Knox

The majority of the world knows that most of the gold mines in the United States are locked up in Fort Knox. It is one of the safest buildings in the world. But most people are not aware that their lock codes change daily.

Employees who enter and leave the locked doors have to remember the changing codes every time they come and go.

Knots for security in early times

Particularly popular with sailors to take care of their belongings, rope knots were used to keep an eye on the disturbances and show when someone tried to interfere.


Locks and keys help us protect our belongings but are also used as a symbol of status for Viking women in the past. Their history is fascinating, and we have shared some interesting facts about locks and keys in this write-up. Hope you have enjoyed reading them.

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