American Lock Celebrates 100th Anniversary

John Junkunc, an immigrant machinist from Hungary invented the world’s first keyless, dial combination padlock in 1912. Seven years later, he purchased American Cylinder Co., known today as American Lock and operated by Master Lock Company since being acquired in 2003.

The American Lock brand, long known as “The Locksmith’s Lock,” and its “industrial grade” security products continue to flourish today for many reasons. Solid body construction and double ball locking mechanisms introduced superior resistance technology and unmatchable quality to the industry in the 1920s and 1930s. The U.S. government began purchasing padlocks during World War II in the 1940s, a bond that continues with the military today.

A steady stream of inventive, locksmith-friendly security devices began flowing with the “Blue Dial” combination lock in the 1950s, expanding the market beyond government to schools and other institutions. American Lock’s hardened, articulated and specialty hasps for locksmiths arrived in the 1960s, followed by the famous, original shackleless “Hockey Puck,” padlock in the 1970s and removable padlock cover plate in the 1980s. New security advances were next, including hardened combinating pins to combat drilling and corrosion-resistant stainless steel pins.

American Lock products have achieved considerable acceptance in areas beyond security. Anodized aluminum padlocks were developed to address U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and have become the leading metal safety padlock used in Safety Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) applications.

American Lock innovations haven’t been limited to hardware. Exclusive Lock Express® 24-hour service provides incomparable response to short-turnaround safety and security situations. Keyed-to-order is another locksmith-friendly service, where locks arrive already keyed to specifications and saving bench time.

Since 2003, several new products have been introduced. Weatherbuilt™ Padlock Protection features a patent-pending keyway cover and patented shackle seals. Stainless Steel, providing the ultimate corrosion resistance, joined American Lock’s Solid Body Padlocks in 2010. It has proven to be a worthy companion to Brass, Steel and Aluminum. Patented BumpStop® Advanced Cylinder Technology and Edge™ Key Control have also made a positive impact on the industry.

For more information about American Lock’s 100th anniversary celebration, visit