An Ancient Profession Given Little Thought
Human beings rarely give thought to everyday objects–specifically the thought, skill, or intricacy required for those objects. Think about this, for just a second: When you put your key in the lock that protects your home as you head to work, do you think of how that lock was made? When your business closes for a night that holds the power to last an eternity in a world riddled with crime, do you care about the skill that was needed for the industrial lock? The answer to both of these questions is probably not, and the little attention paid to these important inventions is awfully sad, due to the rich history to be found behind locksmithing as both an art and profession.
The art of being a locksmith is an ancient practice, said to be over four thousand years old. Said to be derived from ancient Egyptian and Babylonian cultures, locksmithing began with the thought of keeping goods safe from thieves. Though that tends to be what people need locks for today, too, the original lock was small in stature, and fairly simple to surpass. Thus began the evolution of the lock.
As the centuries began to pass, locks became bigger and more durable as the materials used to make them changed as a response to their surpassable qualities. In 1778, the standard, quality lock at the time required a lever that needed to reach a certain level in order to unlock the barrier. Of course, people found ways around this invention, and as a response, competitions were put in place that only the most skilled locksmiths could potentially win. Essentially, who can make the best lock and the method to unlock it is only possessed by the owner? The competition gave way to Jeremiah Chubb, who created a lock virtually unbreakable, and any evidence of it being tampered with would alert the owner. This victory by Jeremiah Chubb led to the founding of his company that specialized in multi-level unlocking systems requiring keys to surpass.
Again, time passed, new mechanisms were discovered, and the lock has become what it is today. Clearly rich in history, people rarely pay any attention to the extensive knowledge and trial and error necessary for being a locksmith. Though people commonly affiliate the practice with peasant work, it is important to note that such peasant work was widely needed as well as appreciated. The most important thing to ponder, though, is just how often people use locks, and in situations that would require emergency locksmith services.