Historical figures are often remembered for the primary contribution they made on impacting the world with specific talents, acts, or other such noteworthy attributes. Locksmiths are considered a humble profession. In fact, most can’t name any famous historical figure that was known solely for his abilities in the locksmith industry. But we at Texan Lock & Key may surprise you with a handful of well known historical figures that had an interest in the locksmith trade. Some names you more than likely know and we would like to expound on their role in the locksmith craft.
Pharaoh Khafre (c. 2550 BC)
More than 4,000 years ago immortalized on the Great Sphinx is Pharaoh Khafre’s iconic face, which he had built along with the second largest pyramid in Giza. Though there is no evidence that confirms whether or not he studied locks himself, but he was a primary influence behind the engineering of some of the world’s first locking mechanisms because of the Egyptians determination to secure possessions in both this life and the next.
King Louis XVI (1754-1793)
The husband of the infamous Marie Antoinette, the well-known King Louis XVI, the last king of France, and the only French king to ever meet his end at the guillotine was actually an excellent locksmith. Loving all things mechanical, it is reported he practiced as an amateur locksmith; but unfortunately, his passion for the locksmith trade would be a key element to his demise. Francois Gamain, Louis’ friend, who had served as the royal locksmith and taught the king much of what he knew about the trade. Because of his knowledge and trusted friendship, Louis commissioned him to secure a chest which can hold his sensitive and important documents. In the end Gamain, ultimately leading to the king’s infamous beheading, would eventually turn it over to revolutionaries.
Harry Houdini (1874-1926)
Famed magician and escape artist Harry Houdini trained in the craft of locksmith early in life. The 11 year old Houdini began working for the local locksmith and quickly picked up the trade after moving to America from Hungary with his family. His knowledge of locks was influential in his success as a magician and escape artist despite the fact he did not stick with the profession. Collecting locks all his life and studying each one with great intensity in order to memorize the way it worked and how it could be opened, Houdini revolutionize the magic industry and is still considered to be one of the world’s greatest escape artists and magicians.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Albert Einstein, gifted mathematician, Nobel Prize winner, and world-renowned physicist still drew attention to the profession with his infamous quote, “If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith”. If nothing else, the image of an elderly man with unruly white hair sticking his tongue out at the camera will help you recall the famous historical figure. Einstein respected the modest trade and, in light of the use of the atomic bomb in WWII, felt that maybe his achievements were not so respectable. Einstein is considered one of the greatest minds of all time and TIME Magazine named him Person of the (20th) Century for shaping history, calling him “the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom and the universe”.
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With the intriguing historical locksmiths, it is truly a beneficial trade and one that helps many people when they need assistance. If you are looking for a reliable locksmith, Texan Lock & Key experts are readily available to offer our services at an affordable cost. Contact us for all your locksmith services.