You are here:

Antique Safes/John Lowe


Hi there,I've recently purchased a antique safe safe made by John Lowe in Manchester uk. I would  be interested to find out more about John Lowe and the history of the safe I've checked all over the net and nothing . The plate on the the front says 1896 John Lowe Manchester fire and burglar proof . If you know anything about the maker or his safes would be much appreciated.


sorry, but I'm basically an expert on American Safe manufactures between the early 1800's through the mid 1900's.  I haven't the resources to research all of the British manufactures as well.   I would recommend that you check with two other experts on this same site (antique safes) - Tom Gordon and Mike Palmer both live in the UK and are experts on safes manufactured in the UK.   They might possibly have some info for you.

Generally all the British safe makers from the early 1800's through the early 1900's made safes which were virtual copies of every other British safe.  The main differences being the name plaques (or plates), the lock and handles.  I'm sure there were probably other minor differences but if you lined up 30 different safes side by side, you would see what I'm talking about.

The majority of the safe makers in England were centered around the West Bromwich, Wolverhampton and Birmingham areas.  The only other safe maker that I've heard of, making safes in Manchester was a company called "Miller - Safe Maker".   I have seen plaques from John Lowe safes, but I don't recall having seen one before.

You may want to check with Tom Gordon the other "antique safe" expert on this site as he is a UK lock, physical security and safes specialist, with a world class collection of safe plaques and Chatwood items from British safes.  Tom lives in the UK and will have a better knowledge of these safes.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

Antique Safes

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 All rights reserved.