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The History of Locks Museum

The on-line home of the 'Heritage Collection'
Specialising in English Locks and Keys

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Where     Is It Now?

Your very youthful curator on a visit to Chubbís Tottfield House premises in 1976. Anybody any idea where this key, and the Hobbs locks in the showcases behind are now. The key was used to open the Edinburgh Exhibition in 1886, its 22Ē long, and weighs 10lbs 16oz.

George Price
Victorian Champion of the Security Trade

by Pat Tempest

George Price by Pat Tempest

The Author, Pat Tempest is the Great, Grand daughter of George Price and
Pat Tempestbrings her own insights and style to the subject. The book is well illustrated with contempory illustrations and colour pictures.

£15 plus P&P
See reviews and ordering details

The first title in our series:-

A C Hobbs a man of genius by Mike Fincher

122 printed pages. 30 x 21.5cm
77 illustrations, 49 in colour. Wire bound between LeatherGrain effect boards.

£15 + P&P
See reviews and ordering details

Which Gallery would you like to view?....
 Ancient Locks and Keys  Patent & Proprietary Locks  Themed Collections 
Artefacts made prior to the Industrial Revolution.

For many hundreds of years the security principle in locks was either the fixed ward and tumbler or the spring barb in one of its forms. Working metals to produce locks, whether for the utilitarian right thru to the highly decorative works of art, explored every application for a locking device. However there was barely any development of the 'principle' of locking. That is until the late Georgian period when the industrial age arrived. Therefor the locks featured in this section would be designs conceived up to about 1778 (first patent for a security principle).
Artefacts that demonstrate a locking Patent or principle.

Robert Barron is credited with the invention of the double acting lever and was granted a patent in 1778 (No.1200). There then followed invention after invention, many of which were patented. Some were 'quirky' others were amazingly ingenious. One invention might inspire another that was perhaps simpler or cheaper to produce, or might suggest an improvement. However the fact that the 'principles of locking' were now being explored.
Collections with a theme or focus.

There are as many reasons a collector may specialise in a particular area as there are collectors. It might be for resons of size or expense, or it might be that a particular principle such as change key locks, padlocks or detachable bit keys.

Here we present some of the collection grouped into popular themes.

English Patent and Proprietary Locks
(Check back often as we activate and add more galleries or add more artefacts to existing galleries.)

Barron Bramah
Chatwood Chubb Cotterill
George Davis
Enoch Jones
Longfield Lumby
Marr Milner
George Price
Ratcliff & Horner Ratner
Tucker & Reeves T.Turner
Wright & Groom

Patent and Proprietary Locks from Europe


Friedr Wiese


Boda Panzer

Ancient / Pre-Industrial Revolution Locks and Keys

Roman Medieval 16th/17th Century 17th/18th Century 18th/19th Century

Themed Collections

Change Key Locks Combination Locks Key Reward Tags
Keys Padlocks
Safe Nameplates Strongboxes Timelocks

A C Hobbs.
A C Hobbs
1812 - 1891
sparked a flurry of ingenious lock improvements in the middle of the 19th century.

Linus Yale jr.
Linus Yale jr.
Prolific inventor of Bank Locks.

Thomas Milner
Thomas Milner
Pioneer and patentee of fire-resisting qualities in safes.

Theador Kromer
Theodor Kromer
1839 - 1928
Invented, developed and patented the double bitted key.

Linus Yale Sr.
Linus Yale Sr.
1797 - 1857
Developed and miniaturised the ancient wooden Egyptian peglock into the now familiar "Yale" lock.

If you would like to know more about the artefacts in the collection you are welcome to ask questions or join in with the discussions on the History of Locks Forum.
Simply email requesting a password.
We are keen to extend the artefacts in this collection, donít hesitate to contact our Curator if you can help in any way.
We especially would like to hear from you if you, or your ancestors, were involved with locks and keys.

All images and text on this page and within this site "The History of Locks and Locksmithing Museum" ( http://www.historyoflocks.com ) are copyright of their respective owners and may not be reproduced without express permission.
This page was last updated January 2012
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