In the past, being a locksmith was considered a craft or an unpaid trade rather than a full blown profession in America. Today, so many new homes, cars and other devices require locks that must be maintained that locksmith jobs have become a very vital profession in many people’s lives. Locksmithing began in the late 1930′s. At this time, it was still considered a craft. A lot of people would take up locksmithing as a hobby. Locks back then weren’t as complex as they are today. Back then, locksmithing may have acted as a supplement to another job rather than a real full blown job.
Skeleton keys were much more common back then, which were basically one key that could open a variety of different locks. Some of the earliest made machines to duplicate keys could result in shoddy and unprofessional looking work, with the key not always working in the lock properly. Back then, there also wasn’t a huge difference between the business and home locks. They were essentially made from the same type of key and lock structures.
In the fifties, a huge resurgence in the American population resulted in a variety of mass produced locks that needed to be made and maintained. It was around this time that locksmithing became more of a real profession, rather than an oddity that businesses used to supplement their incomes. At this point, many different types of locks were being used, and all of them required repairs. These included pin and tumbler locks, tubular locks and more. With the different varieties of locks that were out there, performing a self-repair was a lot more difficult.
In modern times, locks are much more refined and reliable, though as you’d expect they still have a tendency to break. Modern locksmiths do a lot more than just fix locks. They copy keys, repair safes and do other repair work around the lock if necessary. Today, locksmiths get into their profession through learning about it or working as an understudy to a locksmith. Since early man, locks have been devised to hold doors and boxes closed. Locksmiths enter into the picture to repair the modern, more complex locks of today. Today, there are cylinder, chamber, bicycle locks, deadbolt locks and magnetic locks. That’s just a small list of the many types of locks an experienced locksmith has to be familiar with in order to perform his or her job functions.