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The History of Key Design [Gallery]

Although we generally deal exclusively with digital keys around here, this collection of keys spanning the last 3,000 years is a fascinating stroll through the history of locks, privacy, and the status that went with holding a key.

Over at Slate they have a gallery of keys reaching from the Roman empire all the way to the present with descriptions of each. The photo seen here is a Roman key:

In Ancient Rome, having keys—or anything worth locking up—was uncommon. So the key was as much a status symbol as a security device. Affluent Romans often kept their valuables in secure boxes within their households, and wore the keys as rings on their fingers. The practice had two benefits: It kept the key handy at all times, while signaling that the wearer was wealthy and important enough to have money and jewelry worth securing.

Hit up the link below for the full gallery which features keys from around the world.

The History of Key Design [Slate via O’Reilly Radar]

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/3/12

Comments (7)

  1. QA

    Dead link

  2. andy
  3. Iszi

    Got an HTG 404 page on that link.

  4. k4rizmz

    404 :( neat landing page tho…lol.

  5. woise

    cant believe that it is a bad link :P

  6. Nawlins Jeaux

    Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…. click on the “O’Reilly Radar” link, geniuses…. and you call yourselves “GEEKS”!!!!!

  7. Jason Fitzpatrick

    Oops! Link fixed. On the upside… you all got to see our sweet 404 page. ;-)

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