Keys. You probably have at least one in your pocket right now. Most people never imagine keys as anything more than a convenient way to open a lock. Few people think about them unless they are are lost or stolen. But keys are more than simply utilitarian tools, they can also be beautiful.
During the evolution of the key throughout history — from the first wooden keys more than 6,000 years old which were used to open pin locks, to the lock lever keys which originated during the Roman Empire, and finally to the modern day flat keys which were first made widely available in the 1800s — keys have typically been valued for what they could open, not for their appearance.
Maybe it is time to look past the basic functionality of keys, and to examine the capacity of beauty which exists in these everyday objects.
Some things clearly change for the better throughout history. These are the things which make our lives easier. Very few of us yearn for the days before air conditioning, automatic washing machines, or cars, but not everything has improved over time. Hundred of years ago, before you could have a spare key made at your local hardware shop, the design and crafting of keys was something reserved for highly skilled locksmiths. This led to some spectacular key designs over the years.
Most of the first keys have long since disappeared, but we do still have some examples of the designs of ancient keys like this Anglo-Viking voided key from around 900 AD.
Level Lock Keys
Level lock keys are often called, “skeleton” keys, yet the two types of keys are not the same. These keys are used to open warded locks, and are designed with a bit which inserts into the keyhole, a long shaft, and a bow at the end of the key. Many level lock keys featured intricate bow designs and some even had carved bits. Sometimes, precious metals like silver and even gold were used in the designs.
It is much harder to steal a key, if it doesn’t look like one. Many different methods were derived throughout history to hide keys from prying eyes and quick fingers. Antique rings and the handle of walking sticks were popular places to hide keys. Clever locksmiths were even able to craft folding keys which could be easily hidden.
Although the look of few modern keys are able to compete with the romantic appeal of older ones, there are still some very cool pretty modern key designs out there. Whether you are looking for an unique, yet inexpensive decorative key blank, or are willing to pay more for a completely customized key design, it isn’t too difficult to find a key that will reflect your own personal sense of style, and bring you a bit of joy every time you use it.
Unique key blanks
Key blanks are the uncut templates a locksmith uses to create working keys. Anyone can choose a unique key blanks to add a little personality to their keys without spending a lot of money. There are a variety of mild to wild ready-to-go key blanks to select.
Printed Key blanks. It is easy to add a touch of color to a keyring by adding a key made from a brightly colored, or crazily patterned blank. Sport fans can show their team pride when they choose a key blank printed with their favorite sports team logo. Those who are not into sports may wish to have a key with an image their favorite cartoon character.
Unique key bow cutouts. Taking modern key design to the next level is the off-the-shelf or custom bow cutout. Common bow cutouts include hearts, car brands, and initials, but with custom cutouts, the sky is the limit.
Complete custom blank bow designs. When money is no object, a complete custom key blank is the ultimate in modern key design. Just about any design can be created for the bow of a key by a custom key crafters.
Locksmiths do much more than just cut keys. If you are located in the Chester County area, and you need help with any security project, Great Valley Lockshop can help. All of Great Valley Lockshop’s licensed and certified technicians are highly skilled, and have the experience to create personalized security solutions for your home or business.