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Antique Safes/bugs-mold


Our Safe is not very old and its all metal with some plastic shelves. We use it mostly for valuable papers and some of those papers are old too. When you open the safe it smells musty and papers stick together. We also just noticed some very small bugs. We can fumigate it to kill them but what about the mold? Any help would be great. Thanks Randy

Randy, what brand of safe is it and where was it made?  The safe itself could be the problem, in which case you would be advised to get another.  Or is the attraction the papers you put inside. Possibly the mold and bugs were already living amongst the papers?  Mold and mildew sprays are widely available.  Remove the contents, empty a can of Lysol spray inside and shut the door.  Do the papers individually once you determine the spray won't affect the printing on the papers.  Doug

Antique Safes

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Doug MacQueen


This unusual and highly innovative safe from the later 1800's is a Corliss. William, the much younger brother of George Corliss of steam engine fame, spent several years perfecting this design and it was first displayed at the 1876 Philadelphia U.S. Centennial Exhibition. I do extensive patent research helping me in the study of antique U.S. safes and safe locks. Repairs and part making for antique U.S. safes of the early to mid 1800's, both key and combination. Also the study of early round door chest designs up to and including cannonball safes of the early 1900's.


40 years in the lock and safe trade with a stint in bank service work. Openings, repairs and moving of safes of all types.

Charter member Safe and Vault Technicians Association SAVTA, National Safemans Association NSO, National Antique Safe Association NASA. No longer current.

SAVTA monthly magazine

CMS (Certified Master Safecracker- NSO) and CPS (Certified Professional Safe Technician - SAVTA)

Awards and Honors
2nd place national combination manipulation contest 1986 and now in 2016 1st place

Past/Present Clients

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