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Antique Safes/Damon safe

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Question
QUESTION: I recently purchased a Damon safe from an antique shop in Connecticut. My plan is to have it restored, however my first issue is getting it open. We have no combination.  Do you have any recommendations?

Thank you
Tom Cahill

ANSWER: Tom,

The Damon Safe Company was in business from around 1885 until at least as late as 1918, manufacturing safes in Boston, MA.   They also used the names "Damon Safe & Lock Company", or "Damon Safe & Iron Works".   They had factories in Cambridge and Philadelphia as well as sales offices in Boston.

Manufacturers never published any records concerning serial numbers or combinations for obvious security and liability reasons, so there are no records to try to look up old combinations.

This pretty much leaves you with two options, you can try all of the possible combinations for the lock on your safe, or you can have a safe technician from a local safe company open it and recover the combination for you.   NOTE:   I never recommend using locksmiths for safe work, as they generally do not have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes.   Even safe technicians need to have a good understanding of these older safes, which many do not.

If you don't have a local safe company, with a trained safe technician in your area, let me know your location (zip code) and I'll see who I might know or recommend.



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

QUESTION: Andy, thanks for the reply. I have known for a few weeks I would be getting this safe today and have had no luck locating a safe company interested in this job. I am located in zip code 02052 approximately 30 minutes south of Boston MA

Thank you
Tom

Answer
Tom,

I've got a friend, who is also one of the best safecrackers on the east coast, not too far from you.

Philip H Shearer
Hanover Lock & Safe
990 Washington St
Hanover MA, 02339
Phone: 781-826-8872

Contact him to see if he can help you.  If you are able to take the safe to him, it could probably save you some $$$'s, but I'll let you and him work out the details.

Hope this helps,

Antique Safes

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

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.

Experience

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

Organizations
Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
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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