Around the middle of the 19th century, "Scandinavian" style locks, or "Polhem locks", invented by the eponymous Swedish inventor Christopher Polhem, became a more secure alternative to the prevailing smokehouse and screw locks. These locks had a cast iron body that was loaded with a stack of rotating disks. Each disk had a central cutout to allow the key to pass through them and two notches cut out on the edge of the disc. When locked, the discs passed through cut-outs on the shackle. The key rotated each disk until the notches, placed along the edge of each tumbler in different places, lined up with the shackle, allowing the shackle to slide out of the body. The McWilliams company received a patent for these locks in 1871. The "Scandinavian" design was so successful that JHW Climax & Co. of Newark, New Jersey continued to make these padlocks until the 1950s. Today, other countries are still manufacturing this style of padlock.

PairLock-Padlock

In the early 1920s, Harry Soref started Master Lock off with the first laminated padlock. Plates that were punched from sheet metal were stacked and assembled. Holes that were formed in the middle of the plates made room to accommodate the locking mechanism. The entire stack of plates, loaded with the lock parts in it, was riveted together. This padlock was popular for its low cost and an impact-resistant laminated plate design. Today, many lock makers copy this very efficient and successful design.

PairLock-Padlock

In the early 1920s, Harry Soref started Master Lock off with the first laminated padlock. Plates that were punched from sheet metal were stacked and assembled. Holes that were formed in the middle of the plates made room to accommodate the locking mechanism. The entire stack of plates, loaded with the lock parts in it, was riveted together. This padlock was popular for its low cost and an impact-resistant laminated plate design. Today, many lock makers copy this very efficient and successful design.