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Antique Safes/Safe Inquiry


July 17, 2013

Hello Andy,

I recently purchased what may be an antique safe for my business and personal is pretty worn and painted with the following markings and was wondering if you may be able to assist me in valuation and possible directions on researching the history of the safe. There is printing on the door only. At the top printed in gold lettering, as all of the printing on the door is: The American Safe & Lock Co. (on the Co, the o is inside of the C) with two American flags overlapping each other, beneath reads: ANDERSON, IND. The combination dial is in the center and under that reads: STEIN & CANADY AGENTS, ANDERSON IND. The door’s border is painted with one single gold line outlining the door 1” inside from the edge and two single lines 2” in from the door’s edge with floral designs at each corner. The safe sits on four roller style wheels and is VERY HEAVY!! If I remember correctly, the seller told me that it weighed approximately 480 pounds. I hope that description is of help to identify this safe. I can send pictures if needed. It has #7162 stamped in the end of the lock handle and the same # is scratched into the plaster or concrete surface under the door cover plate on the inside. Also# 57 is engraved below the #7162. I could find no reference to the company on Wikipedia. The seller was born and raised in Anderson Indiana and told me that he was given the safe on his 18th birthday by his father, he turned 62 in June of 2013. The combination the he was given at that time still operates the locking mechanism. The safe is now on Galveston Island, Texas and survived Hurricane IKE a few years back. I appreciate any information you can give me as to the history or value of this safe.
Thank you,


While the American Safe & Lock Company was formed around 1902 to manufacture safes & locks, they only lasted until the early 1920's.   Unfortunately the majority of the safes I've seen with this logo were NOT made by this company, but repainted, relogo'd and simply "resold".
While they were listed as a manufacturer, it appears that they also sold a lot of safes from other companies.

So the first order of business would be to see what you actually have to "ID" it, and also to approximate its age.

I'm also kind of puzzled as to why you would purchase a possibly, antique safe to store your business and personal documents in?????
As this company went out of business in the 1920's, this would indicate that this safe would be at LEAST 90 years old (possibly older), which means that it doesn't meet ANY standards for fire resistance, and chances are it is NOT a burglary resistive safe (note the wheels under the safe!!!)
While I don't see a problem with the safe as a collectible or possible antique, and used for display purposes, I would NEVER recommend using it for regular daily use.   You need to get a newer safe which DOES meet current standards.

In order to answer specific questions, identify, evaluate or appraise your safe, I'm going to need photos.  They should include full exterior and interior.  Detail photos should include pictures of the dial, handles, hinges, artwork, locks, bolt work, castors, cabinetry and any special details or damage.  Note:  You may have to remove the back panel on the door to gain access to the lock & bolt work – I will need these pics.
If you have a particular detail that you have a question about, I will need a photo of it along with your question.

I will also need to see any documentation that you have in regards to your safe.  If your safe has a unique historical perspective, you should be able to document this with letters, newspaper articles or photos, if not it is simply a story and will have no bearing on the value of your safe.

Please use as high a resolution as possible so that I can examine details of your safe.  Pictures which are low resolution, out of focus, or from a distance don’t help when we try to evaluate the container.  Note:  with higher resolution, you may only be able to send 2-4 pictures per email, depending on the size of the file, I have a 10mb limit per email.  If photos are larger than 2mb each, you may only be able to send 2 or 3 photos per email, requiring several emails.

Please don’t send me “cell phone” photos.   Also, please don’t use online, internet photo drops as most of these also don’t allow me to easily access the photos for examination.   Send the pics directly to me, while this may be more work for you, it will make my job easier.

Please send all of the requested photos to:

Note:  As I am in the field several days each week, covering a huge service area, I may not get back to your photos immediately, but I will respond as soon as I get an opportunity.  Due to field work, emails may tend to get backed up which means I may not answer them immediately.

Our informal evaluation is at no charge, however if you feel you need a formal evaluation or appraisal for insurance, estate sales, donations for tax write offs, or to establish it as an antique, there is an administrative fee for this service.

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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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