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Antique Safes/opening old safe


dear sir
the house i live in i bought back in has a antique safe that we like to use.its a yale safe sold by the c.a.+a.h.ockert co. from new haven ct.i would like to know if hireing a lock smith they could find the combination by using the serial #or get open some how?the safe is in very good condition.


Yale was a lock manufacturer, NOT a safe manufacturer.

C.A & A.H. Ockert, manufactured safes from around 1910 until 1913.   They were the successors to the August Ockert Safe Company, which had been in business from 1853 until 1910.   In 1913 the company was merged with H. Kissinger to form the Kissinger & Ockert Safe Makers.   This concern last until the early 1920's.

I have seen safes which were sold with the C.A. & A.H. Ockert logo which were not manufactured by them, so in addition to making safes, they may have also sold safes made by other makers.

So our first course of action would be to try to ID what you actually have.   Unfortunately, many of the photos that I will need, you won't be able to obtain until the safe is opened.

NOTE:   I NEVER recommend using locksmiths for safe work as they generally DO NOT have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes without causing excess damage or charging exhorbant fees.
You will need a safe technician from a local safe company, preferrably one with knowledge of antique and/or older style safes.   If your's was built by this company, it would be considered an antique (over 100 years old) and should be treated as such.

Fortunately you have a couple really good safe techs in your area.   Either one of these should be able to open your safe without damaging it.

Philip H Shearer CML
Hanover Lock & Safe
990 Washington St
Hanover MA, 02339
Fax: 781-826-8982  
Phone: 781-826-8872

Mark E Anastas  
Anastas Lock & Safe Co
76 Railroad St
Holliston MA, 01746
Phone: 508-429-7856  

Unfortunately, there are no records of serial numbers, etc. available.   Manufacturers NEVER released such information for security and liability reasons.  So the safe will have to be opened by a trained safe technician.    Obviously it will cost more if they come to you for the service.   If you can take the safe to them, you will be able to save some money.

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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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