The origins of the Yale lock

Although the origins of the Yale Lock has a very British flavour, it was actually the Yale family in America who invented the Yale lock. Having already invented the Cylinder lock in 1848,  it was Linus Yale, Jr. who invented the pin tumbler lock in 1868, along with Henry R Towne.

yale lock sheffield

Based in Connecticut in the USA, the original lock company which invented the Yale lock was called Yale Lock Manufacturing Co. The company name was later changed to Yale & Towne, where they registered 8 patents for their pin tumbler safe lock, safe lock, bank lock, vault and safe door bolt and padlock.

Yale & Towne then expanded its business worldwide and acquired a British lock company called H&T Vaughan. This British company, based in the historic centre of the British lock industry which was Willenhall, was a long-established lock manufacturer.

It was during this expansion that the generic term of pin tumbler lock was changed to Yale locks. In Britain, the Yale lock had great prominence in the British motor industry in the early years. This prominence, however diminished in the 1930s, when cheaper ‘leaf tumbler’ technology became more readily available. The Yale lock bounced back in the 1960’s when a resurgence happened when the M69 window lock became popular as a security device, especially in vans.

Nowadays however, Yale locks are synonymous with commercial and domestic buildings and are commonly seen as the world’s favourite lock. In Britain, the entrance door lock with a cylinder came to be the traditional surface-mounted front door lock for many homes and businesses nationwide.

To find out more about the origins of the Yale Lock, ring Stephen direct on 0114 291 9273 if you are in the Sheffield area.

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