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The History Of Padlocks Revealed

By Bruce McMartin

It is always a necessity for all of us to safeguard our homes and other possessions. For centuries that had passed, padlocks had been used to do the job. Usually, a padlock has a movable looped bar with its one free end swivels open and close. The word padlock was actually derived from “padlok”, which is a Middle English word.

Padlocks consist of a locking mechanism embedded in the body, and a shackle that usually secures what is being locked up. Shackles are typically U-shaped, others are flexible, circular, straight, they can either slide out or swing away from the padlock when opened, or come together or split when being locked or unlocked.

The origin of the padlock we now use today came from a design in England. It was first made of wrought iron sheet using simple lever and plain lever and ward mechanisms. Considering the materials used in creating this type of padlock, it is obvious that it did not provide much protection and security. Another padlock design emerged, but this time it is from the Slavic areas of Europe. This design’s locking mechanism used a helical key that opens the locking bolt against a spring. As time goes by and manufacturing methods improved, the manufacture of these types of padlocks was discontinued. Then along came a more secure lock. It is composed of a cast iron body with a stack of rotating disks. When the right key is inserted, it rotates each disk allowing the notches to line up with the shackle. As soon as the notches line ups with the shackle, it will then slides of the body. While this type of padlock is still being used nowadays, its downside is that it easily corrodes.

Due to corrosion issue, a stronger and corrosion-resistant type of padlocks is now made available. The body is made of sand cast from bronze or brass and has a secure level mechanism. This type of padlocks are usually being used to lock switches in railroads, and cars as they are less expensive and yet resistant to moist, frozen and dirty environments. It also has a cover that spins over the keyhole to prevent insect and dirts from entering the lock. Chains can also be attached to its body to prevent it from being stolen or lost.

Metal machining only became economically feasible when the use of electricity became widespread in the early 1900s. During this time, lock makers were able to create padlocks that were easy-to-manufacture and at the same time strong for their use. These padlocks were made of solid metal blocks that use a pin tumbler mechanism and a shackle that slides into holes that were machined into the body. Many of these types of padlocks can be disassembled to enable locksmiths to fit the locks to a key. They are still used today.

The use of machines in creating padlocks that we use today is proven to be very useful as it is now possible to create a covering for the shackle to prevent it from being cut off. Besides machining, die-casting is another process of creating affordable padlocks. With this process, it allows manufactures to create padlock designs with geometrical and complex features, providing buyers more options to choose from.

Bruce McMartin offers helpful information about security padlock. Check out his website to discover the various kinds of padlocks to choose from.

Article kindly provided by UberArticles.com

Topics: Home Security | Comments Off

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
McMartin, Bruce "The History Of Padlocks Revealed." The History Of Padlocks Revealed. 26 Aug. 2010. uberarticles.com. 29 Sep 2014 <http://uberarticles.com/home-and-family/home-security/the-history-of-padlocks-revealed/>.

APA Style Citation:
McMartin, B (2010, August 26). The History Of Padlocks Revealed. Retrieved September 29, 2014, from http://uberarticles.com/home-and-family/home-security/the-history-of-padlocks-revealed/

Chicago Style Citation:
McMartin, Bruce "The History Of Padlocks Revealed" uberarticles.com. http://uberarticles.com/home-and-family/home-security/the-history-of-padlocks-revealed/


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