15 Fascinating Facts About Locksmiths

1-Ancient Egypt

Locksmiths have been around for a long time. The earliest known locks were made in Egypt about 4,000 years ago. However, locks with keys only appeared in 704 BC.

2-The Roman Influence

The Roman Empire is well-known for refining innovations from earlier cultures. Locks and keys of this period grew elaborately detailed and became status symbols. The Romans also invented the padlock, and it is believed Chinese merchants spread the technology across the world during their travels.

3-Revolutionary Betrayal

Although locksmiths are very trustworthy, one famously treacherous practitioner betrayed King Louis XVI of France during the French Revolution. Francois Germain was the royal locksmith hired by the king to build him a lock for protecting vital documents. Germain joined the revolution and led the conspirators to the papers, which helped ensure the downfall of the monarchy.

4-The Watch

A 16th-century locksmith in Nuremberg, Peter Henlein, is credited with inventing the watch, the first of which was a gold-gilded pomander in 1505.

5-The Profession

Although locks have been around for thousands of years, the locksmith profession was only fully recognized in the late 18th century when the English inventor Robert Barron patented the double-acting tumbler lock in 1788.

6-The 1817 Locksmith Competition

After a burglary at a dockyard in Portsmouth, the British government ran a competition to find a locksmith who could create a more secure lock. The competition was won by Jeremiah Chubb, whose invention resisted for 3 months a lock picker's attempts to open it. Chubb locks remain a significant name in security today.

7-The Combination Lock

It is disputed whether Yale or James Sargent invented the modern combination lock, but they had long existed in the Arab world. Early adaptations were introduced to Europe in Nuremberg through the work of Hans Bullmann and Hans Ehermann in the early 16th century.

8-Yale Lock

In 1848 the American Linus Yale patented the cylinder lock and in 1868 his son Linus Jr invented the pin tumbler lock.


The famous escape artist Harry Houdini was apprenticed to a locksmith at the age of 11 and used his skills to launch his showbiz career. At his death, he remained undefeated by any lock ever used to contain him.

10-Underwater salvage

Charles Courtney learned to pick locks at the age of 7 and his skills led him into the salvage industry where he specialized in opening underwater safes to recover millions of dollars of lost treasure over the years.

11-The Only Locksmith in Toronto

The first Toronto locksmith opened for business in 1932 and remained without competition for many years. Today there are over 500.


Whether you're training as a locksmith in Toronto or anywhere else in the Americas and Europe, you must undergo an apprenticeship to learn the skills and demonstrate your trustworthiness.


It usually takes between 3 and 4 years to become a fully qualified locksmith.

14-Lock Picking Championship

An annual lock-picking championship has been held in The Netherlands since 2002.

15-Locksmiths never keep a copy

For ethical reasons, a professional locksmith will never keep a copy of your keys. As a leading locksmith in Toronto, we adhere rigidly to this rule.



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