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Question
About how old is a mosler safe Serial Number 218074 Thanks !!

Answer
Mike,

Unfortunately manufacturers never release info about safes including serial numbers, so the best we can do is to extrapolate based on known items, using patent dates, or bills of sales (if available), etc. etc. etc.   Even with these items, yearly quantities vary based on quantities sold, anticipated sales, etc. etc.

What we do know is that the Mosler Safe Company started in 1874.   After the death of Gustave Mosler, his heirs split with the Mosler-Bahmann safe company to start Mosler Safe & Lock.   Mosler manufactured approximately 440,000 safes by 1945 when they started the serial number list over.   A "straight line" (quantity per year) growth would give us approximately 6197 safes per year.   Using this number would place your safe in the 35th year, or approximately 1909
As the Mosler's didn't start out the first year making 6000 safes, and with information that by 1884 they had only made about 40144 safes we can make some adjustments to our formula to come up with an approximate year of 1911.
Next we have a letter from the manufacturer dated May 8th, 1950 to an owner of safe serial number 162384 as having been shipped from the factory in 1903 (no month), so we can assume it was manufactured the same year.   Again making adjustments to our formula would give us a year of 1912 for the manufacture of your safe.

Again knowing basic manufacturing deviations, would give us a PRETTY good reference for 1910 to 1915, centered up around 1913 as the probably year that your safe left the factory.

Sorry for the long answer, but hopefully the explanation will give you a pretty close date for your safe with the EARLIEST date of 1912, and a latest date of 1914.

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

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.

Experience

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

Organizations
Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
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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