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A Brief History of Door Knobs and Door Handles

by:Gladman      2020-09-14

Most people think that the door knob has been around forever. This is not the case. As a matter of fact, the door knob, the door handle, and even cabinet handles are a fairly modern invention. As to who gets the credit for inventing them is not really clear. These are just some of the information that is known to some.

The Days without the Door Knob

The history of 'how-to-keep-the-door-closed' technology goes way back. References to them have can be found in the Bible itself, just read through it and you'll find references on barring doors and gates. It can be argued that wooden or iron bar, is the precursor to the modern day door knobs. However, its main use is to lock the doors.

Just to be clear, locks and keys were already in existence during this time period. However, locks and keys were mainly used on chests and not doors. Using locks on doors did catch up eventually but they were pretty expensive at that time.

To open and close doors effectively people came up with the latch-string. The latch string was developed by poorer individuals who, at that time, can't afford to buy the more expensive locks. But as houses got bigger, the latch-string and bar technology jut became too big and cumbersome to be practical.

During the time of the Greeks, simple wooden latches were used to open and close doors. This can be considered as the first door-closing technology that used simple mechanisms to keep doors closed. Archaeological studies, however, cannot clearly prove that these were invented by the Greeks, no matter how smart they were back then.

The first official patent filed for Door Handles was done in 1878 by a man name Osbourn Dorsey. The history behind Mr. Dorsey is very unclear. All that is known about this man is that he was an African-American inventor. Was he a slave or a freed slave? No one really knows. Whether or not he pursued this patent or sold it to somebody else remains unclear and unknown.

Whoever invented it, people should be thankful for the man, or even maybe woman, who invented the modern door knob and door handle. How these things made our lives simpler and more secure shouldn't be forgotten. Imagine a world of people lifting heavy bars to lock doors and be thankful that that world does not exist anymore.

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