Yale history The story of how Yale became the world’s favourite lock, and why today the brand has such a unique global reach with products ranging from mechanical door locks to padlocks, digital door locks, safes and alarms. The legend begins In 1840, Linus Yale Sr. first became a lock maker. Gifted with an extraordinary talent for mechanics, Linus Yale Sr. established Yale Lock shop in colonial America. The locksmith later invented high-security bank locks and small locks with pin-tumbler for doors and cash drawers, demonstrating the ingenuity that transformed his surname into a world-acclaimed brand for decades. The first challenge The success of Yale was not without its challenges. Hobbs, an American lock expert succeeded in picking all the best English bank locks in 1851, forcing all manufacturers to improve their products. Facing heightened rivalry, Yale sustained as an industry leader with superior quality and designs.