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Question
I am a retired doctor from Sri Lanka. My father left me a Victor Safe with a label inscribed,' Mariatta, Ohio. I remember this safe in our house from the time I was a small boy in the forties. We used to play with the combination which was turning very smoothly. After my father died, mother used to operate it. She used to keep deeds and other legal documents in that. None of us (six siblings) knew or were interested in learning the combination. The day before my mother died she took me to the safe and got me to write the combination which she tested several times. Since the all the children had moved out by that time and I did not want to place anything in it , the safe was left in our ancestral house. Few years back I opened it and left it unlocked. none of us minded leaving it in the old house. Some young workers who had come to color wash the house had played with the combination and and we find it locked solid. I have thrown the old diary in which I had written down the combination. Anyway it was not a big bother as no body cared. The house is now occupied my one of my sisters and her family. During a casual visit to the house a young nephew jokingly said if an intruder came in demanded my sister to open the safe thinking that it may have valuables, she would be in trouble. I would be most grateful if you direct me someone who will know the combinatio so I can keep it unlocked and alley her anxiety. I too was told by my father that the safe is fire resistant.
Dr.Sarath Edirisinghe

Answer
Dr. Edirisinghe,

Victor Safes were made in Marietta, Ohio from around 1927 until 1955, when the company who was owned by Remington-Rand was acquired by the Sperry Corporation, and all safe manufacturing closed down.   Unfortunately there have been no records available for almost 60 years now.   This means that you have two options available to you to open the safe, you can either test all of the 1,000,000 possible combinations, or you can have a safe technician from a local safe company open the safe and recover the combination for you.

Normally I would say that worrying about an intruder demanding a safe be opened under threat of bodily harm is remote, in many parts of the world this is simply a fact of life.  But you again have options - first of course, would be to have the safe opened and the combination recovered.   if you do not have a local safe company or a safe technician available, then you may want to place the safe where it will not easily be discovered, until such time that you can have it opened.

If the safe is empty, with nothing inside of it, it may also be best if you simply disposed of it.

I wish I had a better option for you, but sadly there is no easy answer here.    I also do not have any safe company contacts in Sri Lanka to direct you to.   Possibly the nearest company that I know of is in Singapore.

Hope this helps,

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

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.

Experience

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

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

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
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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