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The History of Yale Locks

In 1840, Linus Yale Sr. began designing and manufacturing innovative, high-security locks at his Yale Lock Shop in Newport, New York. His specialty was expensive, handmade bank locks. In 1850, his son, Linus Yale Jr. joined the business and perfected his father’s pin tumbler cylinder lock, which he also patented. Yale Jr. quickly became the locking expert of his time and in 1862, he introduced the Monitor Bank Lock, which marked the transition in bank locks from key locks to dial or combination locks. In addition to his work on bank locks, Yale Jr. also experimented with a lock based on a mechanism that was first used by the ancient Egyptians. He was granted patents in 1861 and 1865 for his most important innovation — the Yale cylinder lock. He and his colleague Henry Towne then established the Yale & Towne company in 1868. Over time, the company grew — as did the types of products they made. Notably, they introduced a line of padlocks in 1879. In the early 20th century, the company expanded and today, their locks are well-known all around the world. In August 2000, the company was purchased by the ASSA ABLOY Group, but Yale locks continue to be manufactured today, alongside a substantial catalogue of related products like door hinges and window locks.

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