You are here:

Antique Safes/Antique safe


QUESTION: Are you familiar with the safe in the photo, weight, quality

ANSWER: Adam, while I suppose I should be able to tell the make from just this inside picture but I am not that good.  Post a clear pic of the outside and another one showing the dial and handle.  The picture of the Federal Lab add-on is a teargas bomb.  The outside that you see is shielded but the inside is exposed glass tubes.  I have removed many of these and I know some other techs who have no problem removing them.  Considered booby trapping, they have been illegal in Ohio since the Thirties but that didn't stop many jewelers from using them. You could call the bomb squad or a Hazmat team if you want to.  Doug

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


QUESTION: I was told this one is from the 1920's , but I bought it and its in another state. I've only seen pictures of it, could you give me your best guess of what it weighs?
I didn't know they had tear gas in them, are they ok to transport
I hope these pics help they're the best I have for close ups

Well it is a Diebold and a ballpark weight would be 3,000 lbs., but when moving, base everything on it weighing 4,000 as a safety factor.  Underestimating weight can be deadly.  I think you should remove the teargas after the safe is moved outside but prior to being trucked.  Contact a big safe company and see if they will do it for you.  Doug  

Antique Safes

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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 No longer current.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

©2016 All rights reserved.