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Why is it Called a Locksmith?

September 8, 2020


Have you ever wondered where the term locksmith came from? You probably know that a locksmith is someone who specializes in keys and locking mechanisms. The term “smith” refers to a person who makes a living out of shaping metal, such as a blacksmith. So why is it called a locksmith? Because a locksmith shapes metal into locks and keys. 

Ancient History of Locksmiths

The art of the locksmith dates back at least 4,000 years to ancient Egypt and Babylon. Primitive locks were mostly made of wood with tin tumblers inside. Keys were also made of wood at that time, and very large. The wooden lock is estimated to have been invented around 704 BC. It’s operation was very basic: as the wooden key was inserted into the lock and turned or pushed upward, the tumblers would move and the pins holding the door in place would slide back. 

Evolution of Locks

By the 18th century, metallurgy had advanced in Europe to the point where locks and keys were much more complex and more durable as well. This led to even more intricately designed locks that were harder to pick. Locksmiths were in high demand, not only to pick existing locks, but to design locks that were less susceptible to picking. 

Evolution of the Locksmith 

Locksmithing as a trade changed along with the technology. The industrial revolution allowed for the mass production of inexpensive locks that could be easily installed and used by the average person. Locksmiths were forced into two basic options: specialized industrial locksmiths or key duplicators. Some were able to get into the lucrative business of creating locking mechanisms and safes for banks and governmental agencies. For many years these were the only options for locksmiths and what was once an art became a basic service. 

Modern Day Locksmiths

These days locksmiths perform a wide variety of services, including residential, commercial, and automotive locksmith services. 

Residential Services

Any locksmith service that is needed by a homeowner falls under the category of residential services, such as:

  • Accidental lockouts. When you’ve locked yourself out of your home or lost your keys. 
  • Rekeying locks. Locks can be rekeyed without having to be completely replaced. 
  • Repairing or replacing locks. Broken locks can sometimes be repaired by a locksmith. But when they can’t, a locksmith can also replace your locks. 
  • Installation of deadbolts. A deadbolt provides an extra layer of protection that is much harder to pick or break. 
  • Window locks. Window locks help to prevent break-ins, especially on the ground floor. 
  • Home security systems. In addition to locks, many locksmiths also install electronic security systems. 
  • Garage doors. Solid, secure garage doors are important to protect your home and your vehicles. Many locksmiths also install automatic garage door openers. 
  • Gate locks. If you have a gated yard, a gate lock may be necessary to protect your property. 
  • Home safes. If you have a safe in your home, whether for valuables or guns, a locksmith can help with installation or with breaking into a safe if the key is lost or the combination is unknown. 
  • Marshal evictions. When a renter has been evicted, a locksmith can accompany a law enforcement officer to the property in order to change the locks so that the previous tenants cannot reenter the property. 

Commercial Services

Locksmith services for businesses are considered commercial services. Commercial locksmith services include: 

  • Rekeying locks. When there is no damage to a lock, but the key needs to be changed. 
  • Repairing and replacing locks. Some locks can be repaired, others need to be replaced. Locksmiths handle both services. 
  • Installing panic bars. Commercial doors need to be able to be opened quickly and pushed outward in case of an emergency. A panic bar is a type of handle installed on a commercial door that spans the width of the door, allowing it to be pushed open easily. 
  • Lockout services. If you’ve been locked out of your building without a key, a locksmith can help you get in. 
  • File cabinets and safes. Keeping records and money secure is an important part of many businesses, so locking cabinets and safes are necessary. 
  • Master key systems. When you need one key to be able to open many doors, a master key system can be installed. 
  • Mortise lock systems. A strong, specialized locking system for commercial doors. 

Automotive Services

Vehicle lock and key services are referred to as automotive locksmith services, such as:

  • Lockout service. If you lock your keys in the car or lose your keys, a locksmith can help you get into your car without damage. 
  • Replacing lost keys. Lost keys can be difficult to replace, especially if they include key fobs or transponder keys. A locksmith can replace these for less than the dealership. 
  • Repairing and replacing locks. When the locks on your vehicle are damaged and need to be repaired or replaced. 
  • Reprogramming key fobs. A key fob that stops working or requires a new battery can be reprogrammed by a locksmith. 
  • Laser cut keys. Automotive keys are often laser cut, making them more difficult to duplicate, except by a locksmith. 

Texas Premier Locksmith Provides a Complete Range of Locksmith Services

Whatever your lock and key needs, Texas Premier Locksmith has the experience and the equipment to handle it. If you’re looking for a reliable locksmith in Dallas and the surrounding area, Texas Premier Locksmith is a well-known name in the industry. 
Call (866) 948-8188 or request service today. We look forward to providing you with lock and key services at home, at work, or wherever you may be.