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The Man Behind the Yale Lock

When you think of locks, chances are you think of Yale. That’s because Yale is one of the most trusted names in security. But did you know that the company behind this ubiquitous brand was founded by a man named Linus Yale Jr.? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the life and legacy of this important figure in security history.

Linus Yale Jr. was born in Salisbury, Connecticut, in 1821. His father, Linus Yale Sr., was a clockmaker and inventor. From an early age, Linus Jr. showed an aptitude for mechanical devices and took an interest in his father’s work. After attending school in local schools, he eventually apprenticed under his father and learned the trade of watchmaking and lockmaking.

In 1842, Linus Jr. moved to Philadelphia to open his own shop. It was there that he met and married Harriet Miller Glentworth, with whom he would have five children. During this time, he also continued to develop his skills as a lockmaker and experiment with new designs.

One of his most important inventions was the pin tumbler lock, which used a series of small pins to block the locking mechanism from moving unless the correct key was inserted. This design improved upon traditional warded locks, which could be easily picked by skilled thieves. The pin tumbler lock would go on to become the basis for nearly all modern locks.

In 1865, Linus Yale Jr. founded the Yale Lock Manufacturing Company with Henry Robinson Towne. The company began producing locks based on Linus’s pin tumbler design, as well as other hardware such as padlocks and door bolts. In 1868, they introduced the “Yale Improved” cylinder lock, which became hugely popular thanks to its durability and ease of use.

The company continued to grow and innovate under Linus’s leadership, eventually becoming one of the leading manufacturers of locks and security devices in the world. Today, Yale Locks is part of the Assa Abloy Group, a global leader in security products and solutions.

Linus Yale Jr.’s impact on the world of security cannot be overstated. He invented the pin tumbler lock, which served as the foundation for nearly all modern locking mechanisms—including those used on homes, businesses, automobiles, and more. He also co-founded Yale Lock Manufacturing Company, which went on to become one of the most respected names in security products and solutions worldwide. Next time you use a Yale lock or any other type of pin tumbler lock, remember the man who made it possible!

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