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Antique Safes/the pic's you asked for


morris-ireland safe
morris-ireland safe  

full safe pic
full safe pic  
Hi Doug,
Sorry for the delay, A friend called in a favor and I had to fly out and replace one of the tech crew on tour.
here are pictures of the safe

The typical lock on those safes is one where the dial does not come to a stop after reversing from your last number, in your case your third number.  There would be a 4th number to turn to before the handle will fully retract the bolts.  Try this test.  Turn the dial 4 full times to the right.  Apply a little turning pressure on the handle as you then rotate the dial to the left.  You should notice the dial will stick at different spots and you may have to back off on the handle pressure or even reverse the handle to get the dial freed up.  There typically will be 10 spots where this can occur.  One of these spots will be the correct 4th number which you don't have on your list.  Then try this same test, but first dial the comb exactly as you have it.  Then go left slowly, doing the on/off handle pressure thing again at each one of these spots.  If the comb you have is correct it should open.  You could also try reversing the turning directions if the R-L-R-L sequence doesn't work, but more likely the comb you have is an older one and it has been changed.  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 No longer current.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

Past/Present Clients

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