In the early days of automobiles, security measures were rudimentary and provided limited protection against theft and unauthorized access. During this time, cars were relatively simple machines, and their security features were not as advanced as those seen in modern vehicles. Here are some early automobile security measures:
Basic Mechanical Locks: Early car models were equipped with basic mechanical locks on the doors and ignition. These locks were usually operated with a simple key, and they lacked the sophisticated security features found in modern locks. Unfortunately, these mechanical locks were relatively easy for skilled thieves to pick or bypass.
Steering Wheel Locks: To supplement the basic locks, some car owners used steering wheel locks. These devices were placed over the steering wheel, preventing it from turning fully. While steering wheel locks provided an additional physical barrier, they were not foolproof and could be broken or removed with sufficient force.
Wheel Clamps: Another early security measure was the use of wheel clamps or tire locks. These clamps were placed around the vehicle's wheels, making it difficult for thieves to move the car. Although wheel clamps added an extra layer of security, they were inconvenient for car owners and were not widely used.
Car Chaining: In certain cases, car owners would chain their vehicles to fixed objects like posts or trees to prevent theft. While this method offered some level of protection, it was time-consuming and limited the car's mobility.
Hiding the Coil Wire: Some early car owners would remove the coil wire, which was essential for starting the engine, and keep it hidden in the vehicle or take it with them. This prevented thieves from starting the car by hotwiring, a common method of theft at the time.
Alarm Systems: As technology advanced, rudimentary car alarm systems were introduced. These early alarms were usually triggered by door or window sensors and produced a loud noise to alert the owner and nearby individuals of a potential theft attempt.
Despite these early efforts, automobile theft remained a significant problem during the early 20th century. As car designs became more standardized, thieves found it easier to steal cars, leading to the need for more advanced and specialized security solutions. This demand eventually paved the way for the emergence of automotive locksmiths, who played a crucial role in developing more robust locking systems and improving overall automobile security. Over time, locksmiths' expertise and technological advancements led to the implementation of sophisticated key-based and electronic security measures, significantly reducing the risk of automobile theft.