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Antique Safes/Victor Safe



Hi my name is Jay .I recently acquired a safe from company that had been in business early 1900's. I do have the combination. The safe is a Victor about 74" tall and 30"x30" and , weighs about thousand pounds I would guess on steel caster wheel with 3- 1/2" circle holes in each wheel. The wheels only roll in straight direction not caster. #1 I want to restore it I am looking for pictures of it originally.#2 I am looking for input on how to get inner door open. It was open I locked it on mistake.#3 I am curious on how old you may think it is.#4 There is a small red box attached inside labeled fire protection it still has liquid in glass tubes? Curious what is this is it dangerous. My plan was to have outside repainted and possibly leave inside original place it in living room. I can send more photos if needed .Thanks


we will start with the wheels:    Wheels are the actual items that roll, the caster is the support AND wheel.   Casters come in two types - Rigid and Swivel, your safe has the rigid caster's that only roll in one direction.    I'm assuming that when you indicate a "3-1/2" hole, you actually mean the diameter of the wheel.

Next item, and probably more importantly would be the "red box-labeled fire protection".   I would have to see this to tell you what you actually have.   This was an aftermarket device and not from the safe manufacturer.  There were similar "tear gas" devices to provide burglary protection, built from the 1920's through the early 1980's.   These tear gas devices are illegal in most states for two reasons, having it mounted inside the safe constitutes "booby-trapping" (which may be a felony), and other than pepper spray, most states require you to have a permit to even own any type of tear gas.   These older tear gases were designed to provide EXTREME reactions of all mucus membranes, and can cause death in people who may have any type of breathing problems.
If THIS is the type of device installed on your safe I would recommend having it removed by a safe technician from a local safe company.   Bottom line, I would need to see what you have to make a recommendation.   You can send photos of the device to me at:

As far as the interior door, these normally use a key lock.   I'm curious how you locked it???   If you had the key - where is it??   If you didn't have a key, then it is probably just stuck, as the lock cannot lock itself.   If you locked it with the key, and then lost the key, the mistake was not closing and locking the door, it would have been losing the key.
Sorry, but you kind of have me lost concerning this door.   I'll need a better explanation of "how the door was locked by mistake"!

As far as its "AGE" - Victor safe started in business in 1885, in Cincinnati, OH.   They continued in business until they were acquired by Remington-Rand in 1926 and moved to Marietta, OH where the name was changed from "Victor Safe & Lock Company" to Victor Safe & Equipment Company".   So your safe would have been built by the first company between 1885-1926.   Also, Victor ONLY used the "In Hoc Signo Vincimus - 1885" ("In this sign we conquer"), with the Phoenix rising from the fire - (trademark) logo from 1885 until about 1904.   

Victor Safe & Lock Company participated in the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis (Dept. D., Group 41, #0055) winning a "Grand Prize" for their exhibit.   For the next 10 years most of their safes had a decal proclaiming this prize.

Note:   As you will not be able to get a replacement decal unless you have a new one made, I would recommend keeping this as original as possible.

Other than photos of the device, I won't need to see any additional photos of the safe unless you need it evaluated or appraised.   I do have photos of what the exterior originally might have looked like if you need them.   I would recommend removing the paint on the safe one layer at a time to see what you can recover of the original paint.  

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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

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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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