Who Invented Door Knobs

Who Invented Door Knobs?

Door knobs are an essential part of our everyday lives, allowing us easy access in and out of rooms. But have you ever wondered who invented the door knob? In this article, we will explore the history of door knobs and the ingenious inventor behind this simple yet revolutionary device.

The invention of the door knob can be traced back to ancient civilizations. In ancient Egypt, for example, doors were equipped with wooden pegs that functioned as handles. These pegs were inserted into holes in the door and could be turned to open or close it. Similarly, ancient Greek and Roman doors featured wooden or metal handles that were used to pull or push the door.

However, the modern door knob as we know it today was not invented until the mid-19th century. The credit for this invention goes to Osbourn Dorsey, an African-American inventor. Dorsey, born in 1825 in Maryland, was a skilled mechanic and inventor. He is best known for his invention of the doorknob, which he patented on December 10, 1878.

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Dorsey’s door knob design consisted of a metal knob that was attached to a spindle. This spindle, in turn, was connected to a latch mechanism that allowed the door to be opened or closed. The door knob was designed to be easy to operate, providing a comfortable grip for users.

Dorsey’s invention revolutionized the way doors were opened and closed. Prior to the invention of the door knob, doors were secured using locks and keys, which could be cumbersome and time-consuming to operate. The door knob provided a simple and efficient solution, allowing doors to be easily opened with a twist of the knob.


1. When was the door knob invented?
The modern door knob was invented in the mid-19th century.

2. Who invented the door knob?
Osbourn Dorsey, an African-American inventor, is credited with inventing the door knob.

3. How does a door knob work?
A door knob consists of a metal knob attached to a spindle, which is connected to a latch mechanism. By turning the knob, the spindle rotates, allowing the latch to retract and the door to be opened.

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4. What were door handles like before the invention of the door knob?
Before the invention of the door knob, doors were equipped with wooden pegs or handles that were pulled or pushed to open or close the door.

5. How did the door knob revolutionize door operation?
The door knob provided a simple and efficient solution for opening and closing doors, eliminating the need for locks and keys.

6. Are door knobs still widely used today?
Yes, door knobs are still commonly used in residential and commercial buildings.

7. Are there different types of door knobs?
Yes, there are various types of door knobs, including round knobs, lever knobs, and decorative knobs, among others. These come in different materials and finishes to suit different aesthetic preferences.

In conclusion, the invention of the door knob by Osbourn Dorsey revolutionized door operation, providing a simple and efficient solution for opening and closing doors. From its humble beginnings in ancient civilizations to its modern-day variations, the door knob remains an essential part of our daily lives.

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