Keys of All Kinds: Background information when reading A Pleasure and a Calling

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A Pleasure and a Calling

by Phil Hogan

A Pleasure and a Calling by Phil Hogan X
A Pleasure and a Calling by Phil Hogan
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2015, 288 pages

    Jan 2016, 288 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Rory L. Aronsky
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About this Book

Keys of All Kinds

This article relates to A Pleasure and a Calling

Print Review

On a wall in his home in A Pleasure and a Calling, William Heming hangs the keys to all the houses he's sold, copies made from the originals that their residents still use. He can go in those houses, no matter if the owners are home or not. It makes for disquieting reading, but also inspires curiosity about what types of keys exist.

Paracentric keyA paracentric key, which looks like a fused tuning fork with metal teeth on one end, is commonly used in prisons, as it offers higher security against lock picking.

Laser keyCars made since the 1990s (mainly upscale cars) have internal cut keys. Also known as laser-cut keys, they are thicker than an average car key, with slits on both sides so they can operate in the lock either way they're inserted.

Tubular keyAs a weekly volunteer at my local library, tubular keys are familiar to this writer. They are used to enter some of the staff rooms; and can also be found on bike locks and vending machines.

Skeleton keyA skeleton key has two meanings. It can refer to passkeys or master keys, which can open many locks in a given location, such as a master key in a car that can turn the ignition, open the trunk, doors, and gas cap. The term is also often used to refer to the sort of keys used to open antique furniture and sometimes, incorrectly, to refer to any antique key. The bow is the part held, this is connected by the shank or stem to the bit which is inserted into the lock.

KeysGetting back to William Heming and his amazing collection of stalker keys, there are three common types of house keys in the USA: Kwikset, billed as KW1; Schlage, which goes by SC1; and Weiser, which goes by WR5. The top of an SC1 key looks like a single-driver flying saucer, while a KW1 key looks like a nice geometric glass design above a house door. A WR5 key looks like a tiny briefcase atop what looks like a thicker bit to go into a lock.

Paracentric key, courtesy of
Laser cut key, courtesy of Josh's Lock and Key
Tubular key, courtesy of
Skeleton key, courtesy of Jorgebarrios
Kwikset key, courtesy of Kwikset

Filed under Cultural Curiosities

Article by Rory L. Aronsky

This "beyond the book article" relates to A Pleasure and a Calling. It originally ran in January 2015 and has been updated for the January 2016 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

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