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Are you old enough (or cool enough) to remember the Ilco 178U and its descendants?

Aubrey Johnson brought the first Ilco 178U into Australia in 1932, and this very special machine is pictured here. The word spread quickly, and soon all the other locksmiths eagerly wanted to get their hands on one.

The manufacturer’s sales leaflet claimed a skilled operator could make 200 keys per hour, and we reckon an Aussie locksmith could do even more. The space and depths were controlled by interchangeable metal discs, one for each. You had to supply your own motor, and any consideration to OH&S was years away.