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Modern day historians are unsure which ancient civilization was first to create mechanical locks, and many believe that Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans developed those skins independently from each other.History of mechanical locks started over 6 thousand years ago in Ancient Egypt, where locksmith first managed to create simple but effective pin tumbler lock that was made entirely from wood.After the fall of Roman Empire in 1st century AD, innovation in the field of locks was completely grounded to the halt.Locksmiths in the European dark and middle ages did not have technology or funds to create new protection techniques, but they used this time to try to confuse or compound lockpickers with new tactics.By utilizing iron locks, Romans were finally able not only to have very strong protection against brute-force attacks, but also keys were for the first time small that they could be worn in pockets, on as a pendant or even infused into rings.During this time wards were also developed, ensuring that only correct key with correct shape of projections can push corresponding pins before lock could rotate and throw the bolt.Specially designed large and heavy wooden key was shaped like modern toothbrush with pegs that corresponded to the holes and pins in the lock.This key could be inserted into opening and lifted, which would move the pins and allow security bolt to be moved.
The 18th-century French excelled in making beautiful and intricate locks.tumbler lock.
This new wave of lock innovation was led by the inventions of Robert Barronin 1778 (double-acting tumbler lock), Joseph Bramah in 1784 (Bramah lock, unpickable for 67 years), Jeremiah Chubb in 1818 (detector lock with high internal security), Linus Yale, Sr.
in 1848 (first pin tumbler lock), James Sargent in 18 (first combination lock and first time lock mechanism), Samuel Segal in 1916 (first jemmy-proof lock) and Harry Soref in 1924 (first padlock).
The Romans invented projections around the keyhole, inside the lock, which prevent the key from being rotated unless the flat face of the key (its bit) has slots cut in it in such a fashion that the projections pass through the slots.
For centuries locks depended on the use of wards for security, and enormous ingenuity was employed in designing them and in cutting the keys so as to make the lock secure against any but the right key (warded locks have always been comparatively easy to pick, since instruments can be made that clear the projections, no matter how complex.