Locks and keys have intrigued collectors since medieval times, and today collectors want everything from wrought-iron door locks to brass-tagged hotel keys and even the keycards that are used in hotels today. Wooden locks were used by the Egyptians about 2000 B.C. By the Middle Ages, huge metal locks were made to keep intruders out of the castle. Collectors divide locks into types and often specialize in categories such as railroad locks, trick locks, ball and chains, institutional locks, combination locks, padlocks, or locks made by special companies or for special events. A few locks have historical value because they can be traced to a maker or historic building.

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