[extropy-chat] When Did (or Do) People Start Locking Doors?

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Fri Dec 15 05:16:33 UTC 2006

Spike wrote

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "spike" <spike66 at comcast.net>
Sent: Tuesday, December 12, 2006 10:04 PM
Subject: RE: [extropy-chat] Bully Magnets

>> Unfortunately, this awareness has been lost, especially in modern
>> America.  When did your family begin locking its doors at night?
> ...
> This is something I have wondered about.  My conclusion is that door locking
> does not start at a particular time in history, so much as it starts in
> families when certain milestones are reached, such as 1) when the children
> are old enough to be responsible with keys, and 2) when the home attains
> something of actual value.

With 2) you may have a point.  But even there, many people in large
cities in the 19th century had valuable possessions, and it would be
of great interest to know if they locked their doors at night.

>> Most people I know relate that their folks began
>> locking their doors at night around 1960
> Lee perhaps many of those people were in their teens in 1960?

A problem that I have with this part of your proposal is that now
practically everyone locks their doors, whether or not they have
children. And I do believe that before 1940 it was uncommon 
for Californians to ever lock their doors, unless they were to be
gone for quite some time.  (In the latter case I can only guess
that they might have been afraid of hobos making camp.)

At least that's what I've heard from acquaintances.


> In my case that happened around 1974.  My brother and I could keep up with
> house keys before that time, but our house contained exactly nothing that
> would be worth the effort to haul away.  In 74, we bought a color TV, so the
> door had to be locked after that.  

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