A Brief History of Home Security Devices
A sampling of interesting moments from the evolution of security devices.
We’ve had locks since ancient times (the Egyptians invented wooden locks and the Romans copied these designs in metal). But have you ever wondered when people began incorporating security devices as well as locks into their homes and businesses?
This brief overview of interesting moments from the history of security devices should help answer this question.
One of the earliest known security measures designed to alert residents to the presence of intruders, rather than just merely keep intruders out, comes from ancient Japan. In the days of the shoguns, samurai, and ninjas, homes were built with purposefully creaky floorboards. These floors, known as “cricket floors” would make a tell-tale squeaking noise when someone walked over them.
Moats & Murder Holes
In Medieval Europe, frequent raids and warfare lead to the construction of ever-more-elaborate castles, both for the protection of rich nobles and their peasants who would come in from the towns to seek refuge behind the castle walls in times of trouble. In these castles, the role of security alarm was typically played by soldiers and sentries. But once the alarm was sounded the castles had many security features that could be used to repel intruders. Drawbridges could be raised to keep intruders from crossing moats, and specially designed “murder holes” could used to pour boiling oil on particularly persistent intruders.
Magnetic Entry Sensors
One of the first security devices we could call “modern” was patented by Augustus Pope in 1853 and later mass-produced by Edwin Holmes. Pope’s invention called for pairs of electromagnets to be installed on doors and windows and wire to a large vibrating bell. If the magnets were separated by an intruder opening a door or window, the bell will sound to wake members of the household. In Boston and New York, Holmes created a security system by wiring the bells through telephone networks to central monitoring stations. This type of alarm system was common for over 100 years and is still used in some places today.
Digital Security Systems
With the coming of the internet age, wireless signals began to be used for security devices. This has led to the improvement of all sort of older systems, from entry sensors to CCTV cameras to locks. Now, these devices can be controlled and monitored without the need for messy nests of wires. Homeowners can even access the information remotely using their smartphones to control access to their property when away at work or on vacation.
If you are interested in getting the latest locks and security devices for your home or business, please contact RBM Lock & Key today.