Security gates have been around for as long as people have needed security. Long before high-tech measures, they were the simplest way for a person to guarantee they and their family would be safe from the elements and anyone who would wish to do them harm.
The first attempts at security gates were really caves. They guaranteed a single entry point that could be monitored at all times and stone walls everywhere else.
Long before recorded history, we know humans would cut down trees and use them as “gates” to some degree or another. Often times it wasn’t so much that the structure was sound as it was that it provided a reliable inconvenience. Anyone wishing to do harm to the family or people inside couldn’t take on a sneak attack.
It’s when humans began foraging large stones and stacking them that security gates took off. The invention of “cement”, in its crudest form, meant that these stone stacked walls could now become formidable barriers.
Here’s where we begin seeing the rise of actual gates used for security. More than just walls, the actual gates themselves meant that anyone hoping to get through, enemy or otherwise, had one main area to rely on. This made it extremely easy for the people inside to screen any would-be visitors.
The Great Wall of China may be the most famous example of this. To keep the Mongols at bay, the Chinese built the only man made object that can be seen from space. Its stone walls were enough to keep one of the great military forces the world has ever seen at bay for centuries, simply because their horses could not cross with any reliable convenience.
For millennia, stones were the resource of choice for building security gates. It’s really only been in the last century or so that they’ve been ditched for better materials. During the turn of the century, an important advancement was made that would change the world forever. Steel started being mass produced in a way it never had been before.
This steel meant that stronger walls could be built far more efficiently. It also meant that now single-family homes could enjoy their protection too. Europe and America were first to adopt this new technology with probably the most notable example being “wrought iron” fences. These were easy measures people could take to protect their homes (usually located in the city) without taking up all the space, needing all the manpower or coming with all the costs of a stone version.
Of course, wrought iron fences would only go so far. Around the 1980’s, new technology finally addressed their shortcomings. Many of their advancements can still be seen today. Video cameras often mount the world’s best fences today and their gates are manned with entry screeners like fingerprint pads and/or card sliders.
Security gates have come a long way since the days of stacking stones. But the idea has always remained the same: keep the outside world at bay.