No, really!  They do!

Today is my birthday (yes, I’m 29), and luckily for my family I bought all of my own gifts while we were in Morocco.  Some of my relatives there thought I was nuts, but I knew that some of you would appreciate my treasures, so here they are.

I bought this lock at the Glaoui Kasbah in Telouet.  It’s made out of wood and so is the key.  It uses pins, and when the key is inserted the pins are raised to the proper level to create a shear line, and the wood bolt can be moved.  Sound familiar?

A close-up of the key:

Here’s the back of the lock with the key inserted:

These are the pins, raised by the key:

And finally, here’s a photo of the lock unlocked, allowing the bolt to slide:

I found most of my new locks in Marrakech.  This one was originally used in the Sahara to lock a bag carried on the back of a camel to transport goods:

Unlocking a lock is a 2-step process, probably to protect the lock mechanism from sand.  Step 1:

The second step is to use the key to squeeze the two pieces of metal together until the lock slides apart:

Here are two padlocks that work in a similar fashion, with the key squeezing the metal pieces (there must be a technical term for this):

This is what the key is doing inside the lock:

This padlock is much longer but has a much smaller key.  I wonder what it was used for:

A beautiful surface bolt:

An assortment of keys…the big one caused quite a stir in the airport because of its resemblance to a gun.  Oops.

If you want to see what lock shops in Morocco look like, click here.

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