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Famous Locksmiths that Shaped History; from Amateur Locksmith King Louis XVI to Escape Artist Harry Houdini

Historical figures are frequently remembered for the primary contribution they made on impacting the world, having specific acts, talents, or other such noteworthy attributes. Few can name any famous historical figure that was known solely for his abilities in the locksmith industry since being a locksmith is a humble trade. Though these historical figures made their mark elsewhere, there are quite a few known locksmiths that might surprise you, however. Bearing this in mind, we at First Lock & Security Technologies would like to share a few of the famous historical figures that had an interest in the locksmith craft.

Harry Houdini (1874-1926)

Early in life, the famed magician and escape artist Harry Houdini trained in the locksmith craft. After moving to America from Hungary with his family, the 11-year-old Houdini began working for the local locksmith and quickly picked up the trade. Despite the fact he did not stick with the profession, his knowledge of locks was influential in his success as a magician and escape artist. In order to memorize the way it worked and how it could be opened, Houdini collected locks all his life and studying each one with great intensity. With this unique expertise, Houdini became one of the world’s greatest escape artists and magicians as he revolutionized the magic industry.

King Louis XVI (1754-1793)

Being quite the locksmith, King Louis XVI, married to the infamous Marie Antoinette, was the last king of France and the only French king to ever meet his end at the guillotine. Having a passion for all things mechanical, it is reported he practiced as an amateur locksmith. His interest in the locksmith trade would be a key element to his demise unfortunately. Louis’ friend and serving as the royal locksmith, Francois Gamain schooled the king on the locksmithing trade. Due to his friendship and knowledge, Louis commissioned him to secure a chest which could hold his sensitive and important documents.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

With one famous quote: “If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith”, Albert Einstein, a gifted mathematician, world-renowned physicist, and Nobel Prize winner, attracted attention. If Einstein could have done it all over again, he would have been a locksmith by profession and instead of revolutionizing the scientific community, perhaps he would have revolutionized the security industry! This brilliant man from the popular image of an elderly man with unruly white hair sticking his tongue out at the camera is most recognized at the very least. Einstein is considered one of the greatest minds of all time and TIME Magazine named him Person of the (20th) Century and people called him “the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom and the Universe.”

Pharaoh Khafre (c. 2550 BC)

More than 4,000 years ago Pharaoh Khafre’s iconic face was immortalized on the Great Sphinx that he built along with the second largest pyramid in Giza. Though there is no evidence that confirms whether or not he studied locks himself, he was a primary influence behind the engineering of some of the world’s first locking mechanisms. For both this life and the next, the Egyptians were determined to secure possessions.

Locksmith Services in San Mateo, Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood City, Woodside, Portola Valley, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Stanford, Mountain View, Los Altos Hills, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Santa Clara, Campbell, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, San Jose, Milpitas & Los Altos, California

It is always comforting to know that this trade is still there when you need it, though seeing some historical figures dappling in the art is quite intriguing. For your locksmith services in Los Altos, CA, call us at First Lock & Security Technologies.

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