The History of Door Security – 10 Historical Events That Shaped the State of Today’s Door Security | 3Sixty Integrated

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Can you imagine a world without doors, locks, or keys? It’s hard to imagine, but without contributions from some of the greatest minds in history, the concept of door security as we know it today would not exist.

The history of door security goes back to ancient times. As a result, it is difficult to determine its exact origins, but doors have always been a focal point for security in every society. Today, doors are the most widely used physical security measure, and there is no reason to expect this to change in the future. Additionally, since 2020, there’s been a rise in intelligent door security systems available due to a growth in innovative technology coupled with an increased demand for safety and convenience.

Here are ten historical facts about the evolution of door security that you may not know and how they affect our current world. So hang on to your seat because we’re going back in time!

1. Door Security Goes Back…Way Back. 

Most historians agree that the oldest lock was found among the ruins of a palace in the Near East around 930 BC. Famously labeled as the first-ever tumbler lock, the device went from Egypt to Greece and Rome and was even found in ruins across the Middle East and Europe. Even though its design is no longer in use, it is still being researched since it is believed to be the earliest lock ever discovered.

2. When in Rome

The Romans used several types of door locks, including what we know as the padlock. They are also credited with improving what we refer to as the pin-tumbler lock by adding metal springs and using a rotating disc. These locks were in use until the 19th century. Today, the padlock is recognized and still used in many places worldwide.

3. The Middle Ages Were Plagued by Crime.

The Middle Ages were a time of constant warfare and the people that lived in these times were forced to make their own security measures. Castles were constructed to be impenetrable and were often built on hilltops with no windows or doors. Still, most people lived in small villages and needed moderate deterrence to guard their valuables. While the common solution was a locked chest, padlocks were also a popular security measure.

4. Yale Lock Was a Breakthrough.

The story of Yale locks is pretty interesting, and it’s a good example of how a product that was initially invented as a security measure can become a household name. Inspired by the original 1840 design, Yale lock designer Linus Yale Jr. went on to produce a safer and more convenient lock that is still being used today. The Yale cylinder lock used pins of varying lengths to keep it in place and was the first lock to use a flat key with serrated edges.

5. Enter the 20th Century.

In many ways, what we consider “door security” today has evolved from many of the innovations that took place in the 20th century. For example, in the 1970s, hotels began using “punch card” technology and moving away from the traditional lock and key method.

6. Viking Door Security. 

Improving on the lock technology of the time, Norwegian engineer Tor Sørnes developed the holecard-based recordable keycard lock that enabled hotel guests to have their own unique key formed by a pattern of holes in the card. His work paved the way for the widespread use of hotel room door security. In addition, it led to other notable innovations, including the electronic keycard lock and the card-based room entry system.

7. The Magic of Magstripes. 

The ’80s wasn’t just a decade of great music, it was also a decade of great technological innovation. For example, magnetic stripes were introduced in the mid-’80s and allowed for easy storage and retrieval of information using magnetic strips. Magstripe cards added a new element to the world of door security and were soon used in many areas of daily life and sectors.

8. The Internet and Connected Entrance Solutions. 

When you think of door security, the world wide web doesn’t necessarily spring to mind, but we can not discuss the state of today’s door security without it. In the early 90s, the world wide web revolutionized how we do business and communicate, giving birth to what we know today as connected entrance solutions. Without the internet, we would not have IoT, cloud, mobile, artificial intelligence, and an endless list of other technologies contributing to our modern workforce and connected living.

9. Overcoming Demagnetization. 

As with any technology, innovation was needed to overcome new challenges. The magnetic stripe on cards used for door security began to weaken over time, and eventually would become demagnetized. Enter RFID technology. RFID readers can pick up the signal at a greater distance depending on the card’s design and device, making it ideal for various modern applications.

10. Back to the Future.

Door security has come a long way from the simple wood plank that was used as a door in ancient times. Today’s doors are nothing short of modern marvels with features and security levels that can rival the most advanced bank vault. Still, the evolution of modern door security is only possible through the contributions made by the innovators and pioneers who revolutionized safety solutions.

Commercial Door Solutions

While the history of door security is fascinating, it’s clear that the advancements made have led us to increasingly secure solutions. From the earliest wooden doors to the advanced security systems used in modern buildings, the fundamental elements required to secure doors have remained the same while technology has evolved over time. 

Today, commercial door solutions secure buildings and offer innovative features such as biometric identification, touchless entry, and real-time monitoring, making them more secure and convenient than ever. As our facilities become increasingly connected, we’ll continue seeing even more door security technology advancements.

As a division of The Cook and Boardman Group, 3Sixty Integrated and our sister branches have over 65 years of experience offering complete security solutions, from custom doors, frames and hardware to security integration technology. Contact us today to see how 3Sixty Integrated can help secure your organization.