Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A "Pick Proof" Key


The type key featured today is one many of you have probably never seen before or even knew existed. I didn't before I saw it hanging on the wall of the Key Room this morning! The donor of the key, T.R. Bergh, touted it as "pick proof." At the time of the donation in 1967, this key concept was brand new. It involved using dimples in the key surface rather than cuts on the edge to engage the pins in the lock.

Sargento Keso Dimpled Key
The key was donated by T.R. Bergh in 1967 at was claimed "pick proof"

This type of key was first made by the Sargent company, which after WWII, decided to focus on making locks and keys. In 1965, they released this dimpled key system, which they named the Sargent Keso Security System¹. This key system is still in high demand today, with many different options offered by a variety of companies.

Drawing by Bergh showing how the key works

However, the claim that is is "pick proof" is no longer applicable, as many have successfully picked this type of lock.² Regardless, this system does prove to be more difficult than traditional key systems and it also has the added benefit that the key is reversible. This means the key can be inserted into the lock in either direction, No more fumbling around trying to figure out which way the key goes into the lock! Does this key pique your interest? Stop by the Key Room and see if there are any other unusual keys that you may not have know existed.

Written by:
Brett Meyer, Museum Curator

1. Sargent Company History
2, Dimpled Lock Picking