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Antique Safes/Halls Safe & Lock


QUESTION: My daughter and her husband both a house several years ago. The house dates back to 1900. In the basement is a Halls Safe about four feet tall on rollers. The individual who lived their before them had been in the house for over fifty years. Unfortunately the house had passed down to a son who was of bad charter. He tried to chiseled the hinges to gain entry. He was unsuccessful. We would like to know is their anyway we can get this safe open. We are in hopes it is full of cash.Ha. also what is the material of the safe. We feel the safe has no value.

ANSWER: Ralph,

Chances are there is nothing in the safe.   Generally people do not abandon safes with "stuff" inside them.   Obviously the exception to this rule would be a death in the family, where the safe belonged to the deceased.

You basically have two options, you can try all of the possibly 1,000,000 possible combinations for the lock, or you can have a safe tech from a local safe company open the safe for you.

with damages to the hinges I would suggest the latter as (depending on the damage) the door could easily fall off, when opened.   Better safe than sorry.

You didn't mention if there was any damage done to the dial or lock????   This would make a difference as well.

Hopefully not too much damage was done as any safe made by "Hall's Safe & Lock Co." would be considered an antique.   Your "full of cash" could actually be the value of the safe as antique, however this WILL depend on what you actually have AND what the actual condition is.

In order to evaluate or appraise the safe, I will need to see photos of the safe after you get it opened.

Contact a local safe company to schedule their safe tech to open your safe.    I NEVER recommend using locksmiths for safe work as they generally don't have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes.

If you don't have a local safe company, let me know where you are (zip code) and I'll see who I know in your area.

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

QUESTION: Our zip code is 40204--Louisville,Ky. Thanks for the response.


Here are a couple companies that you can try.   If they can't help, they may know of someone closer to you.

Grott Locksmith Center Inc.
1112 Winchester Road
Lexington, KY 40505

J Cortie Locksmiths
3844 Heimbaugh Lane
Lexington, KY 40514

Hopefully one of them will be able to help you out.

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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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