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Antique Safes/Herrings Farrels with Yale lock



I have an old safe with HERRINGs PT marked on one foot and FARRELs PT marked on the other foot, and I was wondering if you can tell me if a Yale lock is likely to be original to the safe or if you suspect the original lock was changed out at some point.  I attached a couple of pictures so you can see the lock.  I'm especially interested in the history of the lock if you can tell from the outside what the model is or possible years of manufacture.  This safe was in a house we recently purchased.  The previous owner was deceased and it doesn't look like he left the combination written down anywhere, so we're going to have to have a safe technician open it at some point.  But in the meantime I just love that we have something so old in our house and want to know more about it.

Thank you in advance for your time.


Herring & Farrel were separate manufacturing facilities, though they were very friendly.   Around 1861, they more or less merged, though you didn't start seeing safes with both names until around 1869.   Safes made in New York were usually labeled Herring & Farrel, and safes built in Philadelphia were labeled Farrel & Herring.   Around 1885, the name was changed to Herring & Company, though safes were made at both facilities.   In 1892, the two companies merged with the Halls Safe & Lock Company, and the Marvin Safe Company to form - Herring-Hall-Marvin.

Generally Herring & Farrel used their own locks, or Dexter locks.   While they may have used yale towards the end (late 1880's through 1892), I don't have any record of it.

While I would need to see the lock that is installed on your safe, the dial appears to be from much later - 1930's or 40's, which would indicate that either the lock or dial was changed out at somepoint.   Of course at this point, I'm ONLY discussing the dial.   I have no way of knowing if only it, and/or the lock were replaced.

Make sure that you use a competent safe technician, who has plenty of experience with antique safes.   He WILL need to use some diagnostic skills to determine what lock is involved, and/or how best to open it.

Sorry, I can't be of more help, but with out having the safe here, where I can "hands on", I have to make assumptions based on the photos you've provided.

I would be happy to answer more questions about the safe, after you have it opened and can send me photos of what you actually have.

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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

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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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