Schlage Locks: Setting the Industry Standard

Residential and Commercial Security

The Invention of the Bored Cylindrical Lock

The security industry has changed and evolved dramatically over the last one hundred years. Although modern technology allows doors to be locked and unlocked electronically, most residential homes still rely on the good “old-fashioned” bored cylindrical lock or one of its derivatives to protect their worldly belongings.

Bored cylindrical locks are produced by many different security hardware manufacturers. However, its initial invention is credited to Walter Schlage in the 1920’s. Schlage, a German-born engineer made his way to the United States around the turn of the century. He brought with him an uncannily brilliant mind for tinkering and inventing.

After settling in California and working for several companies, including the Western Electric Company, Walter Schlage started his own company. It was as his own boss that he developed the bored cylindrical lock which revolutionized residential and commercial security. In 1927 Schlage teamed up with businessman Charles Kendrick. Schlage’s engineering mind and Kendrick’s financial savvy proved to be a lucrative pairing. Together, the two launched the Schlage Lock Company. In 1940 Walter Schlage was awarded the Modern Pioneer award for his invention. Today, 98 years later, the Schlage Lock Company is the premier source for residential and commercial security solutions.

Prior to the invention of the bored cylindrical lock, the mortise lock was the industry standard. Mortise locks can still be found on some older buildings, though many have been retro-fitted with more modern security devices. Mortise locks were the most suitable and reliable types of locks prior to the bored cylindrical lock. However, they were cumbersome, difficult to install, and costly to produce. It was these facts that prompted Schlage to seek a better, cheaper and more efficient alternative.

The invention of the bored cylindrical lock paved the way for new and improved lock models based on Schlage’s original design. Many of these improvements were made by Walter Schlage himself or his successors in the Schlage Lock Company. The bored cylindrical lock and many of its derivatives are still in use today. There’s a good chance that if you look at the lock on your front door, you’ll see the name “Schlage” indelibly etched on its surface.

schlage-locksA modern bored cylindrical lock.


1 Comment »

  1. […] The Invention of the Bored Cylindrical Lock […]

    Pingback by The Extinction of the Bascule Lock « Schlage Locks: Setting the Industry Standard | March 4, 2009 | Reply

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