August Stenman, son of master craftsman Frans August Stenman, purchased the Thunell hinge manufacturing factory in Eskilstuna, Sweden in 1881 and created a new company, August Stenman AB, in the process. The new company was quite successful in developing automatic hinges and various screws in it’s early years. August Stenman AB began selling locks and keys in the first half of the 20th century under the ASSA name, which, according to legend, was drawn from August Stenman’s wife’s symmetrical, embroidered family monograms: August Stenman Stenman August, or ASSA. The company would officially rename itself Assa-Stenman AB in 1967.
In 1907, drawing from his work with cash registers, Emil Henriksson, a precision mechanic in Helsinki, Finland, invented the world’s first disc-detainer lock. This lock was patented in 1919 under the name Henriksson’s Patenttilukko, or “Henriksson’s Patent Lock”. Henriksson’s lock was manufactured by Ab Låsfabriken – Lukkotehdas Oy (a contraction of Swedish and Finnish), which was created in 1918 with shareholders Suomen Finanssiosakehtiö (34.5%), Emil Henriksson (25%, which was given in exchange for rights to his patent), Josef Nordqvist (20%) and Gösta Rosenberg (20%). Ab Låsfabriken – Lukkotehdas Oy was eventually shortened to Ab Lukko Oy and, shortly thereafter, the trademark ABLOY was derived from it.