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Diebold Safe
Diebold Safe  

Diebold lock
Diebold lock  
I have a friend that was curious about a diebold safe he has.  He was wondering what the value of it is and possibly what year it was made.

Ely Norris
Ely Norris  
Sherry, so far I have seen 3 different versions of the timelock controlled "automatic bolt motor" used in Diebold cast manganese steel cannonball safes.  Of these 3, I believe yours to be the last version used which would date it to around the 1920's.  Surprisingly there are small banks out of the way banks where these are still in use.  At least that was true several years ago when I made a trip to northern Minnesota to drill one open.  These cannonballs made by Diebold and several other makers were the epitome of the safe makers craft in the early 1900's.  Although Diebold went through a learning curve, the later versions such as yours successfully defended against a nitro attack.

A smaller one of this model was for sale at $10,000 on the internet for several years.  I see that it has finally sold.  It had what looked to be original paint and was in very nice working condition so that should give you an idea of value, at least when they are in excellent condition. I just restored an Ely Norris cannonball Yale timelock automatic to working condition, working with Matt Lamborn of Ashland, Ohio who did a great job on the paint restoration work, so if you are interested in having any work done , please contact me  I am including a picture of it here.   Doug  

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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 No longer current.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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