The Chubb lock company was founded in 1818 by brothers, Charles and Jeremiah Chubb, at their premises on Temple Street, Wolverhampton. This was enabled by Jeremiah’s invention of the ‘Detector Lock’, winning him 100 Guineas in a government competition to create an un-pickable lock that could only be opened by its own key. His ‘Detector Lock’ mechanism was designed to automatically jam the lock as soon as any attempt was made to pick it, and thus would let the owner know about the unauthorised attempt.
In 1823, the Chubb company was awarded a special license to supply King George lV and the royal household. They later became the sole supplier of locks to the General Post Office and a supplier to Her Majesty’s Prison Service.
In 1827, Chubb opened its first London premises at 57 St Paul’s Churchyard. They remained at this location until 1877 before moving to 128 Queen Victoria Street, London. Over this time, lead by John Chubb (Charles’ son) and later by his own three sons, they had also moved and expanded several times around Wolverhampton and London. The Chubb Lock company still remains in business today.
Interestingly, Jeremiah’s ‘Detector Lock’ was only successfully picked in 1851 at the Great Exhibition by Alfred Charles Hobbs, the same man that successfully picked Joseph Bramah’s ‘Challenge Lock’.
See our section on the Chubb Detector lock.