Today’s Illustration: Secure It

lock 1 Lock It Down!

On This Day: June 27, 1865, the Yale Mortise Cylinder Lock was developed and patented by Linus Yale.

Linus Yale, Sr. invented the modern version of the pin tumbler lock in 1848.  His pin tumbler design is still the same design method used today around the world.


Facts & Information:

“The earliest known lock was found in 1842 in the ruins of Emperor Sargon II’s palace.  He was the king of the Assyrian Empire in the  in what was then the capital city of 8th-century B.C. Assyria.”

“Many Roman keys were made to be worn as rings.” — Phillips, pg 5

“The earliest patent for a double-acting pin tumbler lock was granted to American physician Abraham O. Stansbury in England in 1805.” — wikipedia

The profession of “Locksmith” came into being with the beginning of the locksmith’s guild in the 1300’s.  “Little progress was made in lock security until the eighteenth century.” — Phillips, pg 6

Joseph Bramah and  Jeremiah Chubb of England, are the two earliest recognized names connected with the development of locks and keys.  Chubb’s lock was considered “unpickable” until it was picked in 1851 by Alford C. Hobbs. — Philipps, pg. 8

June 27, 1865, the Yale Mortise Cylinder Lock was developed and patented and has pretty much become the kind of lock that is used throughout the world today — unique keyways, additional tumblers, and different tumbler sizes have been the only changes to the original design.

In 1967 the Medeco High-Security Cylinder Lock, which still relied on the pin tumbler design, was introduced. In 1970 a reward was offered for anyone who could pick a Medeco lock in a set amount of time.  A NYC police officer, Bob McDermott, was the only one to do it and be given the reward. — Phillips, pgs. 11-12


The Pin Tumbler Lock Operation:  The key and lock has two main features.  First, there are grooves on either side of the key which match the lock’s design.  These grooves limit the kind of key blank which can be inserted into the lock.  Second, there are a series of pointed teeth and notches which allow a number of pins inside of the lock to rise and fall at a set height.  When all those pins are at their correct height, the key is allowed to turn freely.  If one of those pins is still not at its correct height, it resists the turning of the key.

Picking A Lock: Lockpicking is the art and science of opening a lock without using the designed key which was originally made and sold with that lock.

When a person attempts to “pick a lock”, they are applying pressure to the turning mechanism, while attempting to move some of the pins up and down in order to hold them in position while others are being also manipulated.

Some keys are double-sided to make it even harder to “pick” the lock.


In February 2003, Notarbartolo was arrested for heading a ring of Italian thieves. They were accused of breaking into a vault two floors beneath the Antwerp Diamond Center and making off with at least $100 million worth of loose diamonds, gold, jewelry, and other spoils. The vault was thought to be impenetrable. It was protected by 10 layers of security, including infrared heat detectors, Doppler radar, a magnetic field, a seismic sensor, and a lock with 100 million possible combinations. The robbery was called the heist of the century, and even now the police can’t explain exactly how it was done. . . . .The safe-deposit boxes themselves were made of steel and copper and required a key and combination to open. Each box had 17,576 possible combinations.” — diamonds


Key Illustrative Thoughts:

• He has the keys
• secure it
• He knows all the combinations
• limited doors you can open
• the master key opens all
• given keys for only certain rooms
• trying to manipulate the lock
• religious / theological locksmiths
• lock that door
• throw away that key to the door called past
• we have not been given us all the keys
• security
• break ins
• spiritual heist of the century
• lock it behind you
• eternal security
• key truths which give security




Other Information & Links:

Locksmith Tools Of The Trade:

  • A Drill
  • Key Cutting Machines
  • Workbench
  • Allen wrench
  • Bench grinder
  • Wire wheel
  • Bolt cutters
  • Center punch
  • Code books
  • Combination square
  • Coping saw
  • Dent puller
  • Disc grinder
  • Drill bits
  • Files
  • Hacksaw
  • Various hammers
  • Hand cleaner
  • Flashlights
  • Lubricant
  • Masking tape
  • Paint scraper
  • Pencils
  • Pliers
  • Nails & screws
  • Screwdrivers
  • Tension wrenches
  • Key duplicating machines
  • Mechanical code key cutter
  • Broken key extractors
  • Electronic key decoder
  • Spade drills
  • Wood chisels
  • etc.

The Complete Book Of Lock & Locksmithing, by Bill Phillips — Bill Phillips has written over 13 books on locks and hundreds of articles. —

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