Lubar Corporate Partners
Harry E. Soref
  • March 2, 1887 - March 1, 1957
  • Inventor; founder of Master Lock Company, the world's largest manufacturer of padlocks
Harry E. Soref
Founder
Master Lock Company
Soref's youth was spent as an itinerant locksmith in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. He then formed Master Key Company to produce skeleton keys. This in turn led to his revolutionary idea: the laminated padlock, which was scorned by skeptics. But in 1921, with two partners, he formed a second company -- Master Lock Company of Milwaukee -- which produced his laminated padlock and successfully marketed it to hardware stores and consumers. He steadily improved his lock and added new products until his company was the world's largest padlock manufacturer. In 1928 Master Lock gained national recognition for shipping 147,600 padlocks to federal prohibition agents in New York for locking up the speakeasies they raided. In both world wars, Soref served as a security consultant to the armed services. During World War I, he invented special padlocks for protecting tanks.

Soref attributed much of the success of his company to his cordial relations with his employees and to his concern that the workplace be as pleasant as possible.