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Antique Safes/F.c Calhoun victor patents atlanta safe co. Atlanta ga


Safe pic 1
Safe pic 1  
QUESTION: My father had purchased this safe about 5-6 years ago out of an antique pawn shop in douglasville ga... The owner said he had it opened once before ( I don't know if that's true or not)  but forgot the dad bought anyways he paid 150 bucks for it no combination and I was wondering some information on this safe and if maybe we might beable to get it open or is it a big paper weight??? And if we can get it open about how much do you think it would cost to get it done?

ANSWER: Richard,

There are less than 10,000 possible combinations for this lock, however with a 100 number dial and four wheels, you don't have a reference point from which to run this series, so unfortunately, this would give you 1,000,000 possible combinations to actually test.   You could take a random set, equally divided across the dial to run your series from, hopefully ONE of the test combinations might work.   While there are actually only 8 positions on each wheel, for combination changes, that leaves huge gaps between trial numbers, so by doubling up (actually 2.5 times this would give you 20 numbers or "possibles" for each wheel (still no guarantee, but its the best you can get).   You can uses the 5's and 10's to make it easier to keep track of, but like I said, if one wheel is slightly off, it will keep the lock from opening.

The dialing sequence for this lock is:

4 times left to the first number,
3 times right to the second number,
2 times left to the third number,
1 time right until the dial stops - turn the handle to open.

Note:   Left is counter clockwise, right is clockwise.   Do not count the rotations of the dial, count the individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.    So if your first number is 50, you would turn the dial counter clockwise (left), stopping the fourth time the number 50 ARRIVES at the 12 o'clock index mark.

If you run this sequence and it doesn't work, you can test intermediate numbers.   Again there is no guarantee that any particular wheel will be exactly on a particular number, but using the lock design, this gives you a fair chance.

If the lock still won't open, you probably need to have a safe tech open the safe.   Cost to open, repair and/or recover the combination should run between $350 to $500.   Note:   I never recommend using locksmiths for safe work as they generally don't have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes.   Check for a local safe company.

Hope this helps,

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

Unlock handle
Unlock handle  
QUESTION: Here's another pic idk if this might help its on the unlock handle

ANSWER: Richard,

This is just the serial number of the safe, stamped onto the handle.    There are no records of serial numbers or combinations originally set at the factory, available.

All of my original ideas to help you are still the same - no changes.


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

QUESTION: Do you know about what year this safe was made and would it be a good investment to get it fixed/unlocked?


Based on the photos you've provided, I would estimate that this safe would have been built between the late 1890's to about 1903.  

Cost to have it opened and repaired, recovering the combination so that it is in its current condition, but with a working combination should be around $350 to $500.    If its done right by a competent, qualified safe tech, who knows these safes, will not cause any damage, and no parts will be necessary.

Value of the safe after it is opened would be determined by an appraisal and based on its actual overall condition.  

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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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