Recently, a resurgence of public interest in the historic mortise lock has demonstrated the enduring value of brass fixtures for attractive, specialized locks. Historically, brass, particularly brass engraving, often played a role in the metal faceplates and keys used by locksmiths to help secure doors. The intricate design of the mortise lock illustrates the usefulness of brass to the locksmithing profession.
A Specialized High-Security Lock
In 1865, Linus Yale patented the Mortise Cylinder Pin Tumbler Lock. An example of this Victorian Era high-security lock remains on display at the Lock Museum of America. The mortise lock represented a new, higher level of protection in locks because, when properly installed, it conceals the locking mechanism within a mortise cut inside the door. A solid face plate helps prevent unauthorized access, frustrating lock pickers.