Skeleton keys have been used for ages. First ones were made over 4,000 years ago and were mostly used to lock prisoners in their cells. When people started locking their homes, cupboards, desks and everything else that they wanted to be closed from other people, skeleton key was the most popular type. Up until 1940s this type of key was the most popular one in the United States, it was used to lock every door and cabinet in America.
Today these keys have become a collectors item thanks to their beauty and special look. Also, many people are still using skeleton keys to lock their doors as well. They are especially popular as barn keys, cellar keys and for locking up old cabinets and desks. Even some safes have these types of keys nowadays.
Skeleton keys can be bought as new or as vintage. Collectors love them because they are cheap, make a nice decoration to any vintage style room and there are so many different designs available. It has become a hobby for so many people all over the world. They show off their collections and trade with other collectors. Most collectors only buy one from each style, but there are also dealers who buy large lots to mix them up and resell to collectors.
Due to their decorative nature, skeleton keys can be used for other purposes as well, not just for locking doors. Smaller ones can be made into unique pieces of antique looking jewelry. A simple key on a rope makes a great accessory for a vintage clothing set. It is possible to make brooches and even earrings out of old keys. Larger keys can be used as a decoration by hanging them on a wall, creating a very cool wind chime or even using as Holiday decorations.