History of Safes

Posted on Posted in Locksmith Tips

Throughout the years, human beings have protected their possessions from other people and natural disasters like fire. It is known that Egyptians buried their valuables in the Pyramids. In fact, the first safe installation recorded belonged to Pharaoh Ramses II and this dates back the 13th century before Christ. The safe was found in his tomb, and it was a wooden box with a similar locking system to the pin and tumbler that we use today.

Roman Safes


To be fair, several civilizations were working on their own locking systems during those times. Romans, for example, developed locks to protect their merchandise, these locks were secured by lugs. By the Renaissance, the need for security systems was rising, and these systems became more sophisticated due to the boom of architecture and design. These types of locks were not made for security purposed like the one’s locksmith Miami install but as a way to display their art. Most of the security at the time depended on gadgets like hidden keyholes.

Safe Technology After The Middle Ages

During the 16th century, there were new mechanisms for locking safes that replaced the key system. When safecrackers began opening the locks with a crowbar or even blew them with a gun that was put in the keyhole. Some of these mechanisms included the dial plates where a code was dialed with rotating disks- similar to old telephones. The ancient alarm system where a bell will ring if the safe was touched as well as coded locks which required a password. Usually, both numbers and letters that eventually replaced the key whole mechanism in safes. The decoration was still important during these times, and locks were painted in bright colors and adorned with some patterns. However, over time, looks started to fade and became a secondary aspect of security, which became the first concern.

The Iron Safes Came Into Play


Until the 1700s safes were made out of wood. But when the locking system was becoming too heavy for wood to hold, therefore, manufacturers had to move to another material to provide a solution. After 1830, the iron safes were invented, these were pretty much room size. These vaults had inner walls made of stone, plaster, wood, cement, brick, clay or ceramic fiber which made them fire resistant. These big safes were used by corporations, for storage purposes, also these room-sized vaults were even used by the government.

The Modern Safe

But it wasn’t until the 1800s were the modern safe originated. William Marr, Cyrus Price, Thomas Milner and Charles Chubb created the foundations of the British Lock Industry and renewed the world of safes and security.

With the boom of metallurgic industry, steal was the primordial material for safe production. The main reason being a more durable material, hard to crack and resistant to fire and other elements.

In 1835, Charles and Jeremiah Chubb who had been producing locks since 1818, received a patent for a burglar-resisting safe and began a production of safes for massive sales.

20th Century Safe Technology

In the early 20th century, safe went through standardized tests to prove if they were really fire resistant. After the tests were run, they realized that the old theories for protection were false. Old safes allow the heat to be transmitted inside through the metal handles and spindles.  After this realization, manufacturers radically changed the construction materials and methods for safes. Now, safes have new designs that impede the penetration of the heat inside.

Safe Technology Today

Apparently, today the world production of safes is put on a wide product line, trying to satisfy the growing demand of a number of buyers that are increasing day by day. Great variety of different types of safes are produced and sold. Taking into account the current demand many manufacturers try to decorate their products with metal swirls or patterns that should give safes their «classic look.» There are safes that are upholstered with velvet, expensive wood, decorated like a book on a shelf, and many other ones

Nowadays, with the technological progress safes have become more trustworthy and useful, becoming necessary for many purposes. Today we have safes for magnetic devices, cash safes, portable safes, jewelry and even gun safes

In Conclusion

Truth is that safes assisted in the evolution of the locking and overall security system, with the implementation of alarms, and locking devices that required passwords but even before safes there were caskets and chests, where people used to deposit all valuable items in it, from jewelry to gold and money to protect them from theft.  Today people can buy a safe for a reasonable price (for around $55 dollars) or might as well stick their money and valuables to the bank.

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