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Antique Safes/Herring Hall Marvin safe lock type


HHM safe
HHM safe  
QUESTION: I have a HHM safe with a dial 0-70. When I apply pressure to the handle CCW it will engage the dial, when it does only movement between 26-30 is possible.
The wheels move freely it has 3.
Do you have an idea what make and type this lock is?
This is an old safe that has been in a storage room for years and the combination is not known.Someone cut a hole in the side and used it for night deposits many years ago and many owners for the front desk but know everything is credit card, I think it will be good to have in working order again.
I can see inside and there is a steel partition inside that is the same color as the outside and a round Herring Hall and Mavin plate on the inside door.


HHM used a number of different types of locks made by various manufacturers for them, several different types used a 70 number dial.   Possibly the only type locks that they used that would "lock up the dial", as you have described, would possibly be the Yale HB or OB series, type locks.
the majority of the other locks used either a rotary gear type or lever type assembly, neither of which would lock up the dial when pressure was applied to the dial.

If you can't feel the lever assembly or the lever arm of the rotary gear type, trying to engage the drive wheel, then I would suspect the HB or OB series locks.

From the photos of the safe you have submitted, I would not expect to find either an OB or HB series lock on this safe.    However as your safe has the round HHM lock cover on the back of the door, this is still a possibility.

Your options for opening it, would be to test all possible combinations for the lock or have a safe technician from a local safe company open it for you.    As there would be around 1,000,000 possible combinations, and it could take you up to 5.5 years if you test 500 per day, having a safe tech open it may be the best alternative.

Afterwards you can affect any necessary repairs to the safe.

Sorry I can't be of more help.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: where could I find photos of these locks, insides. I have found many pics, but not these yet.


If you are a locksmith or safe technician there are several sources available (license/registration required).   If you are not then this type info is not going to be available.

Sorry, its not that we are trying to keep this info "secret", but we don't give out any information which may assist in opening safes for obvious security and liability reasons, other than identification of; and/or the dialing procedure for the lock installed on the safe.
We have no way of knowing who you are, your relationship to the safe, and/or authorization to even work on it.

If you are a licensed locksmith or safe technician, then some of the sources would be through either:
Safe & Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA) -
National Safeman's Organization (NSO) -

Both have excellent reference libraries which are available to their members.   Membership IS required and will require your state license and registration info.

If you are neither a locksmith or safe technician, the best that I can offer at this time would be to provide you with the name of a safe technician in your area that might possibly help.

Hope this helps.

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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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