Sometimes we happen to lose it, and so we despair, or double or triple check to make sure we have locked it. The key, among all everyday objects, is one that for sure has the most power, such power that it has become a symbol for all ages (think at Ankn, the key of life in ancient Egypt, or the famous Saint Peters keys) as well as a very concrete need to feel secure.
Since mankind had the comfort of a home or the satisfaction of owning valuable things, there has been the absolute need for a system to protect and safeguard the property and to sleep peacefully. Ever since, and through the passing of 4,000 years, we still strive to create types of keys more and more efficient and secure.
It may be for this reason so many types of keys are circulating, depending on their use and the technology to use them.
The most common are without a doubt mechanical keys, manufactured in aluminum, brass, iron, nickel, steel, or zamak alloy: the insertion in the lock device aligns the inner parts and allows entry. More sophisticated are the electronic keys, which allow opening through the transmission of information.
If we look at our keychain, we recognize immediately the one for the car (by now almost every vehicle is transponder equipped), the high security one for the main door and the cylinder ones for outside or inside doors. But research went so far that we can now even use the key…without the key! These are called keyless entry, used to manage alarm systems on outside doors and garages.
Observing more carefully any variety of keys we will be attracted by their shape and craftsmanship. We can find some cruciform ones, that make the block more difficult to identify and therefore more secure, or dimple keys with conical dimples that can be used on either side or the “barrel” keys for locks with small tubular pistons like the ones used for the bicycle locks or vending machines.
Many types of keys for many different uses, that every day open and close locks an incalculable number of times all over the world, which need to be duplicated with sophisticated and evolved procedures. Small antique objects that are the result of expanded technologies and research in the mechanics and technology that over time have become more advanced.
So, from the moment that our parents entrusted us with our first house keys, with their concerned recommendation not to lose them for any reason in the world, the key always gives us a pleasant sense of security, like the “keystone” of a problem, or the “key for success” of an initiative, or the “treble clef” to intone sweet melodies. Or simply the object, the product of manufacturing and thought, without which our way of living wouldn’t be possible.