How A Lockpicking Challenge Changed Security Forever

//How A Lockpicking Challenge Changed Security Forever

How A Lockpicking Challenge Changed Security Forever

The most effective security system solutions are holistic and broad in their scope, with multiple different systems working in harmony to protect people.

A very strong and secure lock is an important part of this, but at the same time, it is also essential to have a monitored, protected and robust access control system, surveillance of entry and exit points, and sensors that each help to cover the blind spots of other products.

This was not always the case, however, and in the early history of the modern security industry, it was all about having a very secure locking system, which for decades was almost invariably the famous Chubb detector lock.

Designed in 1818 as a lock that can only be opened with its own key, the detector lock’s signature feature was that it would stop functioning when someone attempted to pick it, requiring the use of a regulator key.

This gave it a reputation as an impenetrable lock, one that was aided by a publicised attempt by an imprisoned locksmith who was offered a pardon and £100 (around £8000 adjusted for inflation) if he could pick it and was defeated after three months.

As a result, going into The Great Exhibition, the first ever World’s Fair, Chubb, along with other major locksmiths of the era were feeling confident that they could showcase their exceptional security to the world at large, given that the famous Kor-I-Noor diamond was protected with a Chubb lock.

However, an American locksmith by the name of Alfred Charles Hobbs had other ideas, featuring several common door locks that he would pick in no time at all.

Most shockingly, this included the improved six-lever Chubb detector lock, which was picked in less than half an hour.

Whilst Mr Hobbs’ most famous lockpicking exploit was the famous Bramah challenge lock, what became known as the “lock controversy” fundamentally changed security forever, with manufacturers focusing on multiple different security measures rather than simply relying on the lock itself to protect homes and vital goods.


By |2023-01-09T09:57:44+00:00November 24th, 2022|Blog|0 Comments

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