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Antique Safes/Herring Hall Marvin 1908 S & G Magnetic Lock


Have two possible combinations - how to proceed with trying these combinations.  If they do not work what are the drill points to drill open the safe?

Hi Brandon,

First I have several questions for you:

1.   Where did you come up with the 1908 date???
2.   Where did you come up with the "Magnetic lock"???    Sargent & Greenleaf used a bar magnet in some locks between 1857 until around the late 1870's or early 1880's, however these locks were never used on a Herring-Hall-Marvin safe.    HHM didn't even merge until 1892, and at this time none of these three companies had been using S&G locks as standard locks.
3.   As you didn't provide the combinations that you have (as written), I can't try to decode or provide you with a proper dialing sequence for your lock.

First we need to ID what you actually have, and I'll need to see what your combinations consist of, in order to offer advice.

As far as providing any drill points or opening instructions, other than proper dialing sequences, for obvious security and liability reason we do not do this.   Regardless of if you are a licensed locksmith or safe technician, an open forum website like this is NOT the place to either ask for or receive this type of information.
We have no idea who you are, or what your relationship or authority to work on the safe is.
If you are a licensed locksmith or safe technician, there are avenues that you have available to you through local and/or national locksmith and safe associations.

So back to the basics, first I'll need more information and answers to the questions above, so that I can try to assist you.   I WILL need to accurately ID the safe and the lock  so that I can try to help.   If necessary you can send photos of the safe, with close ups of the handle, and dial.   I'll see what I can come up with for you.

Send the photos directly to me at:  

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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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