The company started in 1855 as Joseph Kaye & Sons in Horsforth, Leeds. Initially involved in the manufacture of oil cans, they diversified during the latter part of the 19th and into the 20th century into the specialised design and manufacture of Kaye’s patent door locks for the architectural industry and rail industry throughout the United Kingdom. In 1970 Harry and David Pickersgill, local tooling designers and manufacturers, purchased the Joseph Kaye assets and incorporated the new company as Pickersgill-Kaye.

The company moved to Pepper Road in 1980, and in 1982 two sister companies were formed – PK Tooling Ltd and Pickersgill Electroplating Ltd. The former Pickersgill-Kaye Group was formed as a holding company in 1989 before a management buy-out in 1998 saw PK Tooling sold off separately and Joseph Kaye Holdings name replaced Pickersgill-Kaye Group as the holding company. In October 2015 Pickersgill-Kaye was acquired by ASSA ABLOY. In February 2017 Pickersgill-Kaye became a trading division of ASSA ABLOY the global leader in door opening solutions.

Recently, the company has diversified and is now using its expertise to design, supply and maintain high security custodial locks for the detention industry and high security perimeter locks for national infrastructure sites.

The firm still operates from premises in Pepper Road, Hunslet and continues to design and manufacture specialist locks for the rail, architectural, high security and custodial industries.