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Antique Safes/Diebold Floor Safe



Diebold Safe Door
Diebold Safe Door  
We own the subject safe, Pat 1877, Ser # 4/73996 (#is on Door Handle). Inscriptions on door; Diebold Safe & Lock Co., Canton O.; David W Craig, Ag't, Boston, Mass.... It also has several art art inscriptions on door.  Measurements; Height is 30 1/2 Inch to bottom of box (not including casters); Depth is 23 Inch; width is 26 1/4 inch. Also picture scene of Clods, trees, lake and meadow in center of door. This safe has always been used for business which was incorporated in 1889.  Safe is in very good good condition. both physically and operational. We are looking for a fair price for safe, ball park only as we are going to sell as we are closing our business. Thank you for your help.


First lets go over some history.  In Feb. 1776 the Diebold, Norris & Co. began reporting "great financial difficulty".   The future of the company swayed in the balance for six months as assets were evaluated, debt calculated, inventory and real estate appraised.   Several Chicago parties were interested in buying the tools and machinery.   This relocation would have left the factory dismantled and its buildings empty.   Fortunately a group of local investors, many of them leading citizens of Canton, Ohio, purchased Diebold, Norris & Company in August 1876.   The name of the company was changed to Diebold Safe & Lock Company, Charles Diebold was kept on at the company as the Superintendent.
Serial numbers were started over about this time also.   In 1881, it was reported that Diebold at the capacity to turn out approximately 30 safes every day, though there is no indication that they worked at max capacity every day, and with about a 250 day work year, this would amount to about 7500 safes per year.   So using this number with a beginning date of Jan. 1877, and the serial number that you provided would indicate that your safe would have been made around 1886 or possibly later.

The 1877 patent date is simply a "reference" to the date the patent was issued, and has nothing to do with when the safe would have been made.   In fact locks bearing this date could have been made for up to 20 years after this date.

I would be more than happy to evaluate or appraise your safe, how ever I don't do "ball park" values.   Value is based on the safes overall condition, so I will need to see the entire safe to be able to evaluate it.

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 12mb 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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