A Reputation Secured Long Ago

Our story of innovation in the lock and security industry began in 1857 when James Sargent, an inventive young sales representative for Yale and Greenleaf Lock Manufacturers, designed a lock that far surpassed any security device available at that time. The result was Sargent's Magnetic Bank Lock, the first successful key-changeable combination lock that allowed the number sequence—or combination—to be easily reset with a special key. It gained immediate acceptance from safe manufacturers as well as the United States Treasury Department, securing Sargent's reputation as an inventor of specialized high-security locking systems.

In 1865, Sargent partnered with his former employer, Halbert Greenleaf, to establish Sargent and Greenleaf and continue bringing innovative products to the marketplace. Their tireless efforts and clear vision for advancing security technology only strengthened S&G's reputation as a trustworthy and dependable manufacturer of high-security products. Today, this same innovative and visionary approach drives the company's success.

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A leader in the security industry, S&G specializes in high-quality mechanical and electronic locks for safes, vaults and highly sensitive SCIF environments.

For over 150 years, American-owned S&G has been providing locking solutions and protecting what we value most in places of government and finance, and in our homes and business around the world.

Very simply, the world has come to rely on S&G for security. We remain committed to the ideals of founder. We begin by understanding our customers' needs—and then responding with a security solution that is innovative, quality-driven and designed to meet the most stringent standards in the world.

The Sargent and Greenleaf Timeline



James Sargent establishes James Sargent Lock Company to design and manufacture high-security products.


Sargent invents Sargent's Magnetic Bank Lock—the first key-changeable combination lock—and gains immediate acceptance from safe manufacturers and the U.S. Treasury Department.


The U.S. Treasury Department adopts Sargent's Magnetic Bank Lock as its standard.


Sargent and Colonel Halbert Greenleaf, who just returned from the Civil War, become business partners, launch Sargent and Greenleaf (S&G) and open a manufacturing facility in Rochester, New York.


Sargent patents Sargent's Automatic Lock.


S&G obtains a federal contract to provide safe locks to the U.S. Treasury Department. It is the first of many ongoing government contracts for the company.


Using parts from locks and two 8-day kitchen clocks, Sargent invents and patents the first Time Lock for bank vaults.


S&G begins producing jail locks, becoming one of the largest manufacturers of the specialty lock well into the 1950s.

James Sargent himself installs the first Sargent Time Lock in the First National Bank of Morrison, Illinois, where it remains for nearly 40 years.


Sargent connects one of his combination locks to a delay timer, inventing the first Time Combination Lock, a lock that remains locked for a predetermined amount of time after the combination is dialed.


The post-World War I depression and the Great Depression of the 1930s leads S&G to expand its portfolio to include builder hardware products, such as reversible panic exit devices, classroom wardrobes, heavy-cast lavatory stall hardware, push and pull plates and other useful hardware.


During World War II, S&G's entire operations are devoted to ordinance work, such as the production of guidance systems for torpedoes, depth charges, projectiles and special combination locks for weapon storage and arming.



S&G produces the first Manipulation Proof Combination Lock for government cabinets and safes.


S&G relocates its headquarters and manufacturing facility to Nicholasville, KY. The new campus includes 78 acres of land, 100,000 square feet of air-conditioned manufacturing space and 22,000 square feet of office space.



S&G establishes an international operation in Lausanne, Switzerland, in order to serve a growing number of European and other international customers.


S&G is awarded a Department of Defense contract for high-security padlocks.


S&G introduces the first Electronic Safe Lock, the 6120, which is still manufactured today.


S&G begins production of the IP Series Lock and Biometric Keypad Lock, representing a significant advance in technology that is still apparent today.



STANLEY Black and Decker, a worldwide manufacturer and marketer of tools, hardware and specialty hardware products, acquires S&G, making it a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stanley Security Solutions, Inc.


S&G invents and produces the S&G 2890B Lock, a modular locking solution that revolutionizes high-security areas within government facilities by meeting both security and life safety demands of the highly sensitive SCIF environments.