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Lock and Key - History, Modern Locks


A lock is a mechanical device for securing a door, chest, or other receptacle so that it can only be opened by an authorized person. Most locks are opened by a key which is placed in the lock and turned. Combination locks do not use a key but rather have a cylinder that is turned to certain stops. Today, many hotels use special plastic cards with magnetic strips as keys which cause a door to open electronically when inserted in a slot near the doorknob.

[back] Lock - History, Construction And Operation

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over 6 years ago


I am not sure where I am in writing this, but hopefully I'll reach a person.

I have read your piece on the history of locks on the above site. Your description of the early Egyptian lock found near Nineveh is intriguing because I have an old Arab lock which is very close to the description given but can hardly be of similar antiquity. The bolt is 512mm. long. It has a set of six tumblers in a block which could be removed. The key has had six corresponding pins. The only difference that I can suggest is that the pegs and pins are of iron not wood. I have had the lock for many years. It came from Al Ula in the Hijaz mountains of Saudi Arabia. Can you tell me anything about this and perhaps explain the close description? Best wishes

Ian Begg, Architect
Plockton Scotland
IV52 8UB