From the lock on your garage and car to your gym and front door, you interact with lots of locks multiple times a day. Although often unnoticed, door locks play an essential role in securing your belongings, your home, and your vehicle. You may, however, have no understanding of how they work or why locks can sometimes fail. Here’s a bit of history about locks along with information about how they work.

A Brief History of Locks

Since the beginning of modern civilization, people have relied on mechanical devices to protect their belongings. Although primitive designs were simply rope knots, true mechanical locks date back to ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt where early locksmiths created pin tumblers made entirely of wood. Through the ages, innovations in lock design have continued to evolve. The Romans improved on Greek designs, for example. Real progress was made in the 18th and 19th centuries with the invention of the double-acting tumbler lock, jimmy-proof locks, and the first padlock. 

door locksUnderstanding Pin-and-Tumbler Door Locks

Traditional pin-and-tumbler door locks have two main parts. One piece fits into the door frame to provide security and stability; the other, a rectangular hole known as the mortise, fits into the door.

The mortise houses a metal bolt that slides in and out. When locked into place, it prevents a door from opening. When the right key slides into a pin-and-tumbler lock, pointed, notched teeth on the blade of the key trigger spring-loaded pins to move up and down. When they line up with the shear line, they allow the cylinder to turn and open the door.


For door lock installation, repairs, and lockouts, contact the professional locksmiths at A-Tri-County Lock. Serving Akron, Canton, and Cleveland, OH, their friendly and knowledgeable team have been providing exceptional locksmith services for over 30 years. Their fully mobile teams offer 24/7 emergency services with dedication and personalized attention. For assistance, contact them today in Akron at 330-928-6222, in Canton at 330-494-1188, and in Cleveland at 216-481-2233 (east) or 440-552-1410 (west). Visit them online to learn more about their services.