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Antique Safes/Antique Globe-Wernicke Safe Value Estimate


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I have an old safe with the following attributes:

1. Manufacturer:  Globe-Wernicke Co., Cincinnati, OH
2. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Inspection No. 5331
  a. Class B Fire
  b. Class T-20 Burglary
3. Exterior Dimensions
  a. 24 wide
  b. 42 height
     i. Plus 6 wheel height so top of safe is 48 from floor
  c. 26 depth
4. Interior Dimensions
  a. 17 wide
  b. 35 height
  c. 19 depth
5. 2 shelves, 1 drawer

I have attached a photograph.  This is an office/floor safe, not a "cabinet safe".

2 questions:
What year was this safe made/how old is the safe?
What is an approximate sale value?


The Globe Wernicke Company ONLY manufactured safes from 1911 until 1917, and there safes WERE considered "CABINET SAFES".    In fact a ruling in January 1914 by an Ohio Court, and subsequently in April 1917 by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals both found Globe-Wernicke guild of copying safes made by "The Safe Cabinet Company", AND for attempting to mislead the public and customers into believing that these were in fact the same products.     Globe-Wernicke had purchased several "Safe Cabinets" and taken them to their factory to dissect (reverse engineer) the containers, in order manufacture an article as near like as possible those cabinets made by "The Safe Cabinet Company".    These instructions came from Otto Wernicke.

As far as the information on the safe by UL, this was simply the standards at the time issued by UL.    An interesting side note, The Safe Cabinet Company was the first safe company to receive UL fire resistive testing and labeling in 1914.

As far as value, these containers have little value for the following reasons:
1.  Fire Resistance:     $0     Does not meet ANY current standards for fire resistance.
2.  Burglary resistance: $0     This is NOT a burglary resistive safe.   The "T-20" label is for "TAMPER Resistance" ONLY.
3.  Resale value:        $0     It has no commercial or retail value, and should not be used for overnight storage of cash, jewelry or valuable documents.   As this manufacturer was known to use Asbestos as an insulation media, it is also considered a HAZMAT item.    You may want to check with your state HAZMAT agencies to determine what your restrictions are concerning transportation, selling of, or disposal of this container.    fines can be extremely expensive, so I wouldn't recommend trying to circumvent any requirements.
4.  Antique/collectible  $0     Based on the information that you have provided, this container is not an antique (over 100 years old) and it is not considered collectible.

While it has no value under any of the above categories, this doesn't mean that it has no value.   Asbestos is considered a very good heat resistive material.   Because it does not meet ANY current standards, I would not recommend storage of anything but general purpose documents, or easy to replace documents.    Selling it would be limited depending on the restrictions (HAZMAT) and potential buyers.    Again, I would not fail to disclose the asbestos facts, as this could return to bite you at a later date.

Sorry the news isn't better.

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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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