Climbing the Pyramid

Aug. 15, 2018

Public requirements for security increased during the last century along with an increase in population and an increase in technology. One hundred years ago every car on the road either had a manual engine shutoff switch or used a common key which operated every model of a specific vehicle. Residential door locks were not much better. Warded bit locks were a popular choice. Skeleton keys, so-called because of their thin design, could easily bypass bit lock wards and one skeleton key shape operated a large percentage of bit locks in use during that era.

An early 1900s antique Yale key machine in my possession uses a hand crank for duplicating the few paracentric types of keys in use at the time. This Yale machine is mounted on a beautiful wooden cabinet with a drawer to hold several types of Yale key blanks. It looks very official but must have been a time-consuming procedure to grind out each key by hand.

During the recent ALOA convention there were no bit locks on display. Attendees visited booths displaying exit devices, key-in-knob lever locks, electronic key cutting machines, automotive transponder keys, high security lock systems and many other security products all taken for granted today.

Locksmithing and security products have both increased in scope through an evolutionary process. What began as trickle a century ago of available products for locksmiths to sell and service has become a much larger stream of items and technology for locksmiths to learn about and offer.

Our September Locksmith Ledger issue will contain articles on the Pyramid of Security extending from pin tumbler locks to high security locks to mechanical push button locks and up to electronic access control such as card or cell phone operation.

Over the years locksmiths have always moved with the times and embraced new product advancements such as high security locks and column-mounted steering wheel locks. How far up the Pyramid has your busiiness climbed? There is no time like the present to move to the next level.