Safes In Ancient Times

Contrary to popular thought the history of safes is very interesting, especially to us. The first safe actually belonged to Pharaoh Ramesses II back in the 13th century BC and it was the ancient Romans that first fixed lugs in the safe locks used.

You will see from the excerpt below a basic history of safes, and how they have evolved from the wooden locking safes, to the incredibly secure systems we use in business and at home today.

  • The first safe. The first safe was invented that we know about was way back to 13th century BC. Found in the tomb of Pharaoh Ramesses II was a wooden safe with a locking system like the one that is currently used today for pin tumbler locks. It was built with movable pins that dropped into holes to lock the safe. A very impressive achievement for over three thousand years ago!
  • Roman locking. The need for providing the highest security to protect their goods and merchandise being stolen inspired the Roman merchants to invent a locking system with fixed lugs. This was a massive leap for security and locking systems. And, to increase the security further they used various sizes and shapes of notches so every lock would require a different key to open it.
  • The Renaissance in the 16th century. During this period construction and architecture developed faster than it ever had in the past which resulted in some superb innovation in the design of locking systems and keys. Whats more, the safes weren’t simply improved in terms of security – people demanded that their security systems and safes looked good as well.
  • New locking concepts. Dramatic innovative security ideas arose during the 18th century – alarm bells that would ring if someone were to try and open a chest (the predecessor to the modern alarm system) as well as locks that were coded with numbers and letters which could be opened without the use of a key.

The UK – Where the Modern Safe Was Born

The names of William Marr, Cyrus Price, Thomas Milner or Charles Chubb – the engineers who laid the foundations for the British Safe Industry are renown throughout the world of safes and security. During the middle of the 19th century, they developed businesses to provide people with what they needed most – security. The United Kingdom pulled ahead in the  production of safes, as almost no other country had the knowledge and industrial resources to satisfy the vast demand imposed on them. They created amazing new features for their safes to react to the demand. Although the security of safes has continually improved, so did the proficiency of the thieves trying to gain entry who came up with more and more extreme ideas for safe cracking. But the safe engineers didn’t give up and as a result we now have all kinds of safes and security systems available for every need.

If you are looking for a security system, safe, lock or and other security product or service please feel free to contact us!

Speak to an expert on 01892 533000 or email