History of Locksmithing

History of Locksmithing | Star Locksmith Philadelphia BlogLocksmiths design, install, maintain, and change locks and other mechanisms that secure buildings, doors, cabinets, and other items. The services locksmiths provide include residential locksmith and auto locksmith services, commercial locks, keys made, lockout services, lock repair, changing of locks, and other emergency locksmith services. Since most of the time the locksmith must travel to a work site, locksmith businesses have created mobile locksmith vehicles that include all the tools and parts usually needed to complete jobs. Because the ability to secure property is important, they also offer their services as 24-hour locksmiths.

In the past, locksmiths were metal workers and mechanical engineers who built locks, aligned tumblers, and created keys that would control the locks. In most recent years however, locksmiths are also electronics experts who create complete security systems, which include security door locksdigital locks, and high-security locks.

History of Locks and Locksmithing

The oldest known lock was a wooden lock from the Assyrian Empire dating from around 704 BC. The wooden locks used tin tumblers and prevented door bars from being moved. The key was a large wooden skeleton key. In the 18th century advanced metallurgy techniques were developed and metal locks and keys were designed. With the development of mass-produced locks in the 19th century, the focus of locksmiths became installing and repairing locks, making keys, and creating locks for safes. Now, with the development of electronic security devices and systems, locksmiths have expanded their training and services.

Modern Locksmithing Services

In the past, there were times when property needed to be secured during non-traditional business hours. However, today, it is a 24-hour world. So, 24-hour locksmiths have expanded their emergency locksmith services. Technicians are trained in all of latest technology, and mobile locksmith vans are equipped with all the latest tools and products needed to complete the work.

In this busy world, people and businesses do not have time to wait when an accidental lockout occurs. Today’s quick-response lockout services are offered 24/7 no matter whether the lockout is residential, commercial, or automotive. For residential customers, emergency and lockout services include deadbolt installation, re-keying lockschange lockslock repair, and broken key extraction. For commercial customers, emergency services also include re-keying locks and broken key extractions as well as the installation of high security locks. For automotive customers, emergency services include opening car doors, key replacement, broken key extractions, and ignition cylinder replacement.

Residential Locksmith

Today, new homeowners who are concerned about who might still have keys to their home can change the locks on their doors and safes or have the locks rekeyed and new keys made. To rekey, a technician simply changes the tumblers in the lock. New parents can have locks installed on some cupboards or cabinets. Locks can also be installed on storage sheds. In addition, today, some residential locksmith companies offer such services as the installation of gate locks, security systems, intercom systems, and garage door installation and repair.

Commercial Locksmith

The needs of commercial customers have also become increasingly sophisticated over time, and they vary depending on the areas the business needs to secure and the available budget.

A master key system can control access to specific areas or locations without an electronic access system. Such a master key system works well for today’s landlords. The landlord can have a key that is cut to unlock any of their rental units while tenants are given keys that will only unlock a specific unit. This master key system works for retail store chains as well. A district manager could have a key that will open multiple stores while keys for store managers only open their store. This system also works to limit access areas inside a business. Lower level employees would have keys that give them access to specific areas, while higher level employees would have keys that would allow them to access all areas of the business.Today’s commercial locks also need to be more heavy duty because they get more use.

Another sophisticated option for businesses is an electronic system that eliminates the need for keys. Electronic systems can require key codes, swiped cards, or biometric keys such as fingerprints. These systems can track who accessed an area at a certain time. Locksmiths can also provide businesses with security door locks, high-security locks, digital locks, safes, and drop boxes.

Automotive Locksmith

In the past, auto locksmith services primarily helped with lockouts, replacement keys, lock replacement, and ignition cylinder replacement. New technology has expanded these services to include smart keys, transponder chips, and transponder keys.


Overtime, locks and locksmithing have changed in response to changes in the needs of customers and changes in technology, which now includes locks which are connected to the internet of things. Still, whether it is residential, commercial, or automotive, whenever locksmith services are needed, customers should continue to follow some longstanding advice. First, only hire companies, who guarantee highly skilled and trained technicians. Second, look for companies who guarantee the protection of their personal property and are licensed, bonded, and insured. Finally, look for companies who willingly provide guaranteed estimates.


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