Lock Museum of America, Inc.


Built on the site of the original Eagle Lock Company, which began making locks in 1854, the Lock Museum of America chronicles lock-making history--a chapter in mechanical engineering lore. The eight display rooms house more than 23,000 kinds of locks, including vault locks, door locks, and padlocks. One room is devoted to the Yale Lock Manufacturing Company and features the original patent model of the mortise cylinder pin-tumbler lock designed by mechanical engineer Linus Yale, Jr. in 1865. Considered the greatest invention in lockmaking history, this type of lock is still widely used today in car doors and the outside doors of buildings.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Industrial & Manufacturing, Mechanical
Topic(s):Simple Machines
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:The California Gold Rush of 1848 gave rise to an era of daring bank burglaries; creating, in turn, a need for improved bank security systems. In fact, American news articles printed in the 1870s boasted that the manufacture of bank safes and locks in the U.S. had become more advanced than in England because of American burglars' superior skill.
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