What You'll Learn
14. Home Security Maybe it's a sobering thought, but life would be much different without the dead bolts, chains, and electronic alarm systems that now protect homes. "In the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, people locked their valuables in small chests or boxes," says Yeingst. "It's really in the 20th century when people can put locks on their homes." Sadly, crime wasn't purely the motivator for the growth of home security. In the early going, the interest in security reflected societal misgivings about the melting pot of cultures arriving in the United States. "A lot of security concerns," Yeingst says, "are tied with growing concerns about urbanization and immigration in the 20th century." Still, for better or worse, our house keys have become a part of daily life. "The whole idea of sealing up your house from outsiders is a big change," says Shayt. "One hundred years ago, there weren't even serious locks on the doors, just latches."