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Keyhole Guard - A Lock That Looks Like a Key

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Locks140 of 257Padlock with 3 upward facing chevron/arrowheads with square around themOld brass lock
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    Posted 5 years ago

    (41 items)

    At first glance these devices called "Keyhole Guards" or "Keyhole Locks" may look like keys, and are often found with groups of locks and keys. In fact, they are actually small locks with a specific purpose. In the late 19th century and through the middle 20th century many hotels still had door locks that used a “skeleton” type key and hence were easily picked. In order to prevent anyone from entering the room, at night or when he was away, the traveler could insert one of these into the keyhole, turn the key – which rotated a tab or extension in the body – and withdraw the key leaving the body wedged inside the door's lock, blocking any other key. Somewhat rare, interesting, but not particularly valuable.

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    1. Windwalker, 5 years ago
      Never seen them before,.... very cool
    2. AzTom AzTom, 5 years ago
      I never saw one either. I like that thing.
    3. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
      I'm finding it hard to believe that I've never seen one or heard of one !
    4. SpiritBear, 5 years ago
      How do you get the lock out of the door?
    5. UncleRon UncleRon, 5 years ago
      Simply re-insert the "key" portion back into the "lock" part - still inside the keyhole. Turning the key retracts whatever part of the piece was extended to jam it in there (study the pics for the various mechanisms), and pull the whole thing back out with the key.
    6. Horseradishman1 Horseradishman1, 4 years ago
      Very nice collection
    7. eclipsedave eclipsedave, 4 years ago
      Very nice lot! I have a pair of brand new Original Diktator bat wing style which sort of resembles the ones shown at lower right.
    8. Earthling_ Earthling_, 3 years ago
      In your first picture, the two at the top, especially the top right, may not be keyhole locks. I'm thinking this because of their size. The one at the top right looks similar to a Burg Wächter cabinet lock. (You can find them on They are very similar to keyhole locks, but are intended to be inserted into a housing in a display case with sliding doors. You may see them in jewelry display cases in department stores. They simply prevent the doors from sliding and opening.

      Anyway, that's a nice little collection. I'm most curious about the one on the bottom right.

      -- Earth

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