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Antique Safes/Diebold Safe dating & info



IMG 2466
IMG 2466  
I'm looking to restore a Diebold Safe and thought you could help.
See photos attached

Dial reads,
Diebold Safe & Lock Co
Patented May 23, 1871
Canton, O

Handle reads,
14  (sure of this #)
90318 (only sure of 9 _ _ 18    "0" and "3" are best judgment)

The Combination works (4 number)
H- 37 1/2 X W-26 3/4 X D-25.

The side/top panels seem like thin covers?  "Sound" hollow.  What is the safe made of?  Typical thickness?

Is this a fire safe?  Seems to be some fire-proofing ?? material showing at seams.

  * Do you sell parts/paint/pinstriping?
  * Finnials for butt sets (are these lead?)
  * Paint color matches?
  * Pin striping kits?
  * How does the inner panel remove?
  * Can you date this safe?

Thanks much,


I would be happy to look at your safe and answer questions.   As far as "dating the safe", I'm married and my wife doesn't let me date any longer!   LOL

This safe was basically Diebold's "heavy walled version".   These safes were designed for fire resistance as this was more of a problem in the late 1800's than burglaries.

There is no aftermarket for pieces and parts - not a big enough market to make them.   Available parts are those which have been taken off of safes which were not repairable and going to the scrap yard.   Items like the finials (hinge acorns) are not available in new sets, or even in complete sets.  We can have these fabricated to match the design on your safe, out of most materials and finishes.   My favorite is polished stainless!!!

As far as color, paint or pin stripping kits.   You would approach this issue the same as if you were going to pin stripe your car or motorcycle.   You can have decals made at most graphic sign shops, or hand paint the safe.   If you DIY skills are lacking, you could check with a local college art department to see if they wanted to take the safe on as a restoration project, or if they had a competent student to do the work.

Manufacturers used various proprietary materials for insulation.  Very rarily would they actually publish THEIR particular mix.   many companies actually patented their insulation and went after any company that tried to duplicate it.   In general though, they are usually mortar mixes, with gypsum, alum, plaster of Paris and/or any material that would provide resistance to any heat transfer.

In order to answer specific questions, identify, evaluate or appraise your safe, I'm going to need photos.  They should include full exterior and interior.  Detail photos should include pictures of the dial, handles, hinges, artwork, locks, bolt work, castors, cabinetry and any special details or damage.  Note:  You may have to remove the back panel on the door to gain access to the lock & bolt work – I will need these pics.
If you have a particular detail that you have a question about, I will need a photo of it along with your question.

I will also need to see any documentation that you have in regards to your safe.  If your safe has a unique historical perspective, you should be able to document this with letters, newspaper articles or photos, if not it is simply a story and will have no bearing on the value of your safe.

Please use as high a resolution as possible so that I can examine details of your safe.  Pictures which are low resolution, out of focus, or from a distance don’t help when we try to evaluate the container.  Note:  with higher resolution, you may only be able to send 2-4 pictures per email, depending on the size of the file, I have a 10mb limit per email.  If photos are larger than 2mb each, you may only be able to send 2 or 3 photos per email, requiring several emails.  Please don’t send me “cell phone” photos.

Please send all of the requested photos to:

Note:  As I am in the field several days each week, covering a huge service area, I may not get back to your photos immediately, but I will respond as soon as I get an opportunity.  Due to field work, emails may tend to get backed up which means I may not answer them immediately.

Our informal evaluation is at no charge, however if you feel you need a formal evaluation or appraisal for insurance, estate sales, donations for tax write offs, or to establish it as an antique, there is an administrative fee for this service.

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 44 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes". Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

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