Sangeetha Pulapaka

Alfred Charles Hobbs (1812 – 1891) was an American locksmith and inventor. His most notable achievement was picking the Bramah and Chubb locks at the Great Exhibition of 1851. His ability to pick these locks changed how the world viewed the security of locks and safes, leading to the many improvements in the construction and design of locks throughout the 19th and 20th century. Hobbs also made many improvements in the field of ammunition manufacturing later in his life.


Hobbs was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1812 to two English parents. He married and had a son, Alfred J. Hobbs. Hobbs became one of the founders of the lock making firm Hobbs Hart & Co. Ltd. The company started in 1851 and was formally registered as Hobbs and Co. in 1852. By 1855 it was Hobbs, Ashley and Company. The name then changed to Hobbs, Ashley and Fortescue, with an address at 97 Cheapside, London. For the next ninety years the address was 76 Cheapside, London. In 1860 Hobbs returned to America, living in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He went on to hold many patents for firearm ammunition manufacturing. Hobbs died in Bridgeport, Connecticut in the fall of 1891.