1851 is the year of the Great Lock Controversy that took place at the London’s Great Exhibition. In a way, this the year when the cat and mouse game really started between lock manufacturers and lockpickers.
During that exhibition, the most famous lock manufacturers were showing their best locks, alleged to be impenetrable to any kind of picking attempt.
But it was not counting for the presence of Alfred C. Hobbs, salesman for the New York City-based lock manufacturing company Day and Newell’s and its newest product, the parauptic lock. Besides being a salesman, he was a very talented lockpicker and proved it to the largest extent during the exhibition and thereafter. It was a good way for him to sell his lock after he demonstrated he could easily pick other’s locks.
He has been able to pick the Chubb’s Detector lock in less than 15 minutes, although the lock had been proven several times to be extremely secure, even against the best imprisoned lockpickers that were given their freedom if they could pick it.
Hobbs could again pick the same model of lock but this time properly installed on a strong door chosen by the manufacter himself.
A few month later, but still in 1851, Hobbs managed to pick the Bramah’s pump lock remained undefeated for more than 60 years.
Many people across England doubted he actually picked these locks, but mostly people feared for their valuables they thought being well protected by these alleged high security locks.
In homage to Alfred C. Hobbs and his great talent, the year 1851 has been chosen to illustrate what we do here at ATS.
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