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Antique Safes/Info on Wells Fargo strong box


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I have a strong box made by Herring-Hall-Marvin Safe Co., Ser #1187. In the proper light I can see where Wells Fargo was painted on it. It has a keyed lock and handles on each end.
My Question: Is there information on this and how do I find if this box has value. Thank You

Tom, based on the H-H-M maker and the Wells Fargo name on it, you chest was made sometime between the 1890's and WWI when Wells Fargo Express was included into the Railway Express Agency.  It is a lightweight strongbox, used for the protection of valuables being shipped by the company.  As there were several thousand Wells Fargo and the later REA depots, it is not surprising there are chests and safes still around with those names on them.  There would have been many more of these small chests used back in the day.  Not so common today though.  I ran across an interesting patent from that era for a shipping container designed for very high security.  This safe didn't have a door or any lock on it, but it required heavy specialized machinery to put it together and take it apart.  As to the value, several hundred dollars I suspect.  Maybe more to the right buyer.  Doug  

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Doug MacQueen


This unusual and highly innovative safe from the later 1800's is a Corliss. William, the much younger brother of George Corliss of steam engine fame, spent several years perfecting this design and it was first displayed at the 1876 Philadelphia U.S. Centennial Exhibition. I do extensive patent research helping me in the study of antique U.S. safes and safe locks. Repairs and part making for antique U.S. safes of the early to mid 1800's, both key and combination. Also the study of early round door chest designs up to and including cannonball safes of the early 1900's.


40 years in the lock and safe trade with a stint in bank service work. Openings, repairs and moving of safes of all types.

Charter member Safe and Vault Technicians Association SAVTA, National Safemans Association NSO, National Antique Safe Association NASA. No longer current.

SAVTA monthly magazine

CMS (Certified Master Safecracker- NSO) and CPS (Certified Professional Safe Technician - SAVTA)

Awards and Honors
2nd place national combination manipulation contest 1986 and now in 2016 1st place

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