Locksmith Ledger: Seventy Years And Going Strong

Locksmith Ledger celebrates its 70th anniversary this month. It is impossible to mention our anniversary without considering the man who started it all, Leonard Singer. Organized locksmithing began a century ago as a secretive trade with servicing...

Q and A: Buddy Logan, ASP

Who or what influenced you towards a career in the security field? Were any other members of your family involved in the security field? Can you detail their history in this business?

In 1961 my father C.J. Logan took a correspondence course from the Locksmithing Institute in Little Falls, N.J. His main job was as a railroad engineer but he always had an interest in building things. He even built the house that we lived in when I was growing up. Having lived through the Great Depression of the 1930s, he had many different jobs during that time, including some limited work with a locksmith. So he decided to learn more about locksmithing with the idea of developing a second career after retirement from the railroad.
In the late 1960s he started teaching locksmithing to me. As a kid I was always interested in cars, with most of my toys being toy cars, trucks, tractors, etc. So as I learned locksmithing, naturally I became most interested in automotive locks. 
I had no other family members in the locksmith field, and some of my extended family thought I could “do better than that” with regard to locksmithing. So I did do better, I developed a new “extended family” in the locksmith field that were better than blood relatives.
Over the years many people have entered this locksmithing extended family of mine – too many to mention and to risk leaving someone out by accident.  But one who stands out and to which I give the most credit to in helping me broaden my horizons was George Robbins of San Antonio, Texas, along with his wife Wanda.  I had no brothers or sisters growing up, and since George and Wanda were only a few years older than me, they filled that role very nicely.  While my dad taught me the basics of locksmithing, George taught me many more ins and outs of the trade.  One of the greatest losses of my life was when George suddenly passed away in 1984 at only 44 years of age.  Today I don’t get to see Wanda as much as I would like to, as we live 1,800 miles apart.  But we are still as close as always and we each know we are always there for each other. 

Can you detail your own history in the security business?
Because of my special interest in automotive locks, I realized quickly that there was a big gap in the availability of information on how to service locks on imported cars. There was plenty of information available about American car locks, but little about Volkswagens, British Cars, Fiat, Renault, Peugeot, and the new Japanese brands that were starting to come into the USA. So I wrote and published the “Foreign Car Lock Service Manual” in 1974, with a second volume published in 1977. These were the first books ever published on that subject, and looking at them now they were primitive looking compared to today’s higher technology publishing capabilities. But they got the message across and as recently as the 2009 ALOA convention, I was asked to bring those books back for information about some of the older model cars that still pop up from time to time.
During that time I also realized that there was another gap in the availability of service parts for locks on imported cars.  Parts were readily available for American cars from Briggs & Stratton, Hurd, and other companies.  Even Ilco was involved in the automotive lock business at one time, with the factory which eventually became All Lock and now Lockcraft. But parts for imported cars were very difficult to obtain, even from the dealers. 
So the next step in my career was to develop a service parts business to fill the gaps for parts not supplied by the existing companies. That was the beginning of ASP Inc. Our first order was shipped on September 1, 1980, to Dennis Baxter of Baxter Systems Inc. in El Cajon, CA. Dennis and his father Jesse Baxter were pioneers in the publication of code books for imported vehicles, and at that time they also operated a wholesale distribution business of locksmith supplies along with their code business.   So it was natural that they would be the first to recognize the importance of service parts for imported cars to the locksmiths of America.  
Now 30 years later, ASP Inc. is handling distribution of automotive lock service parts for American cars made by Hurd and Lockcraft along with a greatly expanded range of parts for imported cars. In 30 years ASP has grown from about 100 different part numbers to over 3,500 currently active part numbers.

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