Ancient Chinese Locks

 The manufacturing of locks has a close connection with material, tools, society and culture. Metal padlocks were the most common locks in ancient China. According to their design principle, they come in two categories: splitting-spring lock and combination lock. The splitting- spring padlock works with its key; they come in two subgroups: broad locks and pattern locks. With the simple spring force, ingenious geometrical arrangement of dimensions and the design of the key, the functions of locking and unlocking are hence created. A combination lock normally has three to seven reels; when the reels form the correct word string, the combination lock can then be unlocked without using the key.

 Locks are a life necessity. However, in general, people still only have superficial knowledge about locks. In light of this, the National Science and Technology Museum has brought their functions and role into full play by collecting and studying those ancient locks of historical significance and value. Through vivid and interesting displays, we hope to intrigue the audience to obtain greater understanding of the historical development and knowledge related to locks.