Who Invented the Doorknob? [When, Where & How]

The doorknob is a simple, everyday item that most of us take for granted. It has been around for centuries and has evolved from a simple hole in the door to a complex locking mechanism. But who invented the doorknob?

The doorknob was invented by Osbourn Dorsey in 1878. But, this invention actually goes back to ancient times. In fact, it can be traced back to Egyptian civilization!

What do you know about a doorknob? Is it just a small part of the door? Many people don’t even know when were doorknobs invented. In this article, we will discuss with you doorknob inventions, history, and their purpose.

Who Invented the Doorknob?

The History Of Door Knobs

The history of doorknobs is quite interesting. Who invented the doorknob?

It’s a question that has plagued mankind since the beginning of time.

And while we may never know who actually invented the doorknob, there is much we can learn about how they were created and what they mean to us today.

The earliest known door handles were discovered in ancient Egypt and date back to approximately 3000 BCE.

The earliest known doorknobs were made from wood and had no holes in them, meaning they could only be turned by hand.

However, as time progressed and technology advanced, so did the doorknob.

First door handles with holes in them appeared sometime around 1000 BCE but it wasn’t until around 200 BCE that people began using actual keys to open the door instead of turning its knob by hand.

The modern invented door knob dates back to the 18th century to replace the use of a key to open and close the door.

It was built with a lever that allowed it to be turned, and it was attached to the door by a hinge.

This design allowed the user to push or pull on the door latch, opening or closing it.

Who Invented the First Doorknob?

There are several theories about who made the first doorknob.

Some records say that the first hand forged door knob was invented by an inventor named Osbourn Dorsey in the 19th century, who developed a new design for the door handle invented.

Before Mortensen invented the doorknob, people would use a key to open the door. Mortensen’s design was much easier to use than a key and also looked more attractive.

Who Invented the Word Doorknob?

Some people are intrigued about who invented the word doorknob. The word doorknob was first used in the early 19th century. It comes from the door + knob.

In 1810, Noah Webster published his dictionaries for American English, which included a definition of the doorknob:

“DOORKNOB (noun)”

A handle or knob for opening a door; especially, one that is attached to a latch by a pivot and turns on the axis of the latch.

Who Invented the Door Handle?

These days, we’re taking the door for granted, but who invented the door handle? The door handle was invented in the 1850s by inventor Linus Yale.

He was working for a lock company at the time, trying to find a way to improve the design of locks.

Who Created the Door Knob Lock?

The door knob lock was invented by Robert Barron in the 19th century. It is not clear if the first door knobs were made by hand or with a lathe.

Some people believe that Barron used a lathe to make his first door knobs, but there is no evidence to support that idea.

When Were Doorknobs Invented?

The doorknob is one of the most familiar features of our homes.

The simple design has remained almost unchanged since when doorknobs were invented in the early 19th century, but many different types of knobs and handles can be used to open the door.

The first door knobs were made from wood or metal. They were operated by pushing them inwards and turning them so that they could be opened with ease. 

This design was used by most manufacturers until 1954 when was the plastic doorknob invented, which made it possible for knobs to be mass produced cheaply and quickly.

Today, doorknobs are available in a range of materials including metal, plastic, brass, bronze, and even crystal!

Some of them look like vintage furniture, made of bronze or black wood door hardware. Some are handles hand forged of nickel.

Some modern door knobs even have built-in locks so that they can be locked from the inside while still allowing easy exit from inside or outside your home.

Why Was the Doorknob Invented?

The primary purpose of the doorknob is to open or close a door. Doorknobs are attached to the front and back of the door for ease of use.

They can also be used as a decorative element to add a bit of style to your home’s interior design.

The invention of the doorknob has made life easier for everyone because we no longer need an extra hand to hold onto a knob or latch when opening or closing doors.

Inventor of the Doorknob: Osbourn Dorsey

what was used before door knobs

Osbourn Dorsey was an American inventor who created the first doorknob in 1878.

He was one of the first people to realize that door handles were not as efficient as they could be, and he took it upon himself to change that.

He did this by designing a device that would allow people to open doors without having to use their hands or arms.

The invention allowed people to open and close doors with just a flick of a finger, which made life much easier for everyone.

Dorsey invented several types of tools and machines, including the machine that could sew leather very quickly (this machine would later be bought by Singer Sewing Company).

However, he became famous when the doorknob invented by him spread across the US.

The idea for a door handle came to him while he was working as a janitor at an iron foundry; he noticed that many people were getting injured while opening doors because they did not know how to use door handles properly.

He then designed a new type of door handle that used a spring mechanism instead of a latch system like most doors did at the time

This meant that when people pushed on the door handle, it would open automatically without them having to push harder than usual.

Why Did Osbourn Dorsey Invent the Doorknob?

Osbourn Dorsey’s door knob was invented because he was tired of people constantly trying to open his door, which was locked.

He did not want to unlock it every time someone knocked, so he invented a device that would let them in without having to unlock anything.

How do Door Knob Locks Work?

Door knob locks have been around for a long time and have evolved to be a sophisticated system of locking and unlocking doors.

The door knob lock system consists of the lock itself, which is attached to the door and has a mechanism that allows it to be locked or unlocked.

The other part of this system is the key, which is used to open and close the door by aligning with the lock in order to unlock it.

How door knob locks work depends on the type of lock. There are three main types of door knob locks: deadbolt, cylinder, and lever.

Deadbolts are usually found on exterior doors, while cylinder locks are more common on interior doors.

Lever locks require less maintenance than other types because they don’t need much lubrication.

Doorknob History

The doorknob has been around for thousands of years and the doorknob history is quite interesting.

The first known example of a doorknob was found in Ancient Egypt, where it was carved out of wood and used to open the door to Pharaoh’s tomb.

In the Middle Ages, it was common for people to carry their own keys on chains, often hanging them around their necks.

This made it convenient for them to lock and unlock doors without having to find a servant or passer-by who could help them.

As time went on and cities grew larger, more people were living in apartments (rather than houses) and were renting them from landlords.

This meant that people would have a landlord who owned all the locks in the building, which meant that they didn’t have control over their own front doors!

That led to many problems—including theft and vandalism—and prompted landlords to install deadbolts so they could control who had access to each apartment’s door from the inside.

Porcelain Door Knobs History

Porcelain door knobs were created in China around 100 B.C. They were made of clay that was fired at high temperatures and then carved into the shape of a knob.

Porcelain door knobs are still popular today because they are durable, easy to clean, and come in a wide variety of shapes and colors.

Glass Door Knobs History

The history of glass doorknobs is a long and winding one, with many different designs and styles throughout the years.

While the most common type of doorknob today is the round knob with a hole in it, there have been many different variations on this basic design.

What Was Used Before Door Knobs?

Before the invention of doorknobs, people used various methods to open and close doors. Ancient civilizations had no need for doorknobs because they didn’t have them.

The Egyptians had a rope system that opened doors, and some medieval castles had a similar system.

The Romans used a latch on their doors while the Greeks used a hook on theirs.

Door Knobs in Middle of Door

Door knobs in the middle of a door are a popular choice for many homeowners.

They can be used to add style and flair to a home, or they can be used to change the look of an entire room.

Door knobs in the middle of a door can also make it easier for you to open and close your door without having to reach over the knob.

What Were Old Door Knobs Made of?

The first door knobs were made out of wood or metal, and they looked like the ones we use today.

The only difference is that they were smaller, so you could only fit your hand through them.


Below you can find an overview of frequently asked questions about doorknobs, I hope you’ll find it useful.

What did we use before door knobs?

The earliest known door latch was a wooden bar that could be inserted into a hole in the door jamb. This type of latch was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as well as by medieval Europeans.

Where was the first door knob made?

The first door knobs were made from wood, brass, or ivory. They were carved into simple designs such as circles or squares with holes drilled through for attaching a latch or lock.

Why are British doorknobs in the middle of the door?

The design of British front doors is a throwback to medieval times when it was common for houses to have two doors. One was for people coming in, and another was for the servants going out.

Why are doorknobs so low in old houses?

The doorknobs in older houses are lower than modern ones because they were designed to be used with a latch, not a deadbolt.

When were crystal door knobs popular?

Crystal door knobs were popular from the 1930s to the 1950s. The Great Depression and World War II had an impact on the style of crystal door knobs, as did technological advances.

Final word

In conclusion, long before the days of the invention of locks and keys, the doorknob made it possible to open and close the door securely.

This is why we still use them today. It is not difficult to observe that the history of doorknobs has a significant influence on many technological advances made today.

Inventors around the world are constantly dreaming up new ways to make life easier and more convenient for us. Check out our blog for more interesting inventions!