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Locks were born out of necessity as people sought ways to protect their possessions. Though the first locks were made from a series of rope knots and bore no resemblance to the locks used today, they served the same purpose and were the inspiration for a new technology that would forever change the face of history.

Lock History: Locks Through the Ages

The oldest known locking mechanism dates back more than 6,000 years, discovered in the ancient Mesopotamian kingdom of Assyria. The ancient Egyptians developed a similar technology and are generally credited with creating the first mechanical lock, which was a basic pin tumbler lock made entirely from wood. They were also the first to incorporate this feature into their architecture as a means of security.

This lock was made up of a wooden post attached to the door and a bolt that could slide horizontally into the post. The bolt was outfitted with a set of openings that were filled with pins, and a large wooden key was created with pegs that matched the holes and pins. If the key was placed into the opening and lifted up, then the pins would move and allow the security bolt to be moved as well.


The Greeks and Romans made many innovations to lock technology during their respective eras. Greek locks were not considered to be overly secure, but their ideas served as an inspiration for later technologies developed by the Romans. The most significant change made by the Romans was switching the predominate material from which locks were made from wood to metal. Iron locks also allowed for keys to be reduced down to a more modern-day size.

People would often wear their keys as pendants or even have them infused into rings, both for safe-keeping and as an indicator of wealth. If you had a key, you were bound to have something valuable enough to need protecting.​

After a period of advancement in the Roman age, locks went through a dark age in which no major innovations were made again until the 18th century. When Robert Barron made “a lock far more secure than any hitherto made” in 1778, his double-acting tumbler lock, it marked the emergence of a new era of lock technology that has led all the way to the modern age of locksmithing.

Today the broad spectrum of different locks is innumerable, and each design has its pros and cons depending on the desired function and setting in which the lock will be utilized. You use locks every day, so it is important to understand the different options available to you when considering both functionality and security. This list of 23 types of locks includes the most common locks seen in the United States, as well as useful information about their form and function to better inform you about the locks in your life.​

Mr. Locks was established in 2003. We’re proud to be a leading locksmith company offering a complete range of locksmith services and security systems solutions to commercial and residential clients throughout New York City: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island. 24 hour emergency services available including weekends and holidays. When you need us, we’re there!

Our main goal is to provide professional, efficient and reliable locksmith services at competitive rates. From commercial to residential locksmith issues, we handle every single project with care and close attention to ensure 100% customer satisfaction and great results.

Valenzuela Locks was established in 1972. Ever since, our team consists of specialized locksmiths trained and experienced in a wide range of residential, commercial and auto security products and services, from small scale solutions to multiple building systems. 

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