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Question
I am trying to open a Thomson & co safe. It has been sitting in a friends basement for years. This safe does not have a combination lock only a thin flat key slot in the center. It is a horizontal slot in the center of the door. Is it still possible to find a key for this.

Answer
Steve,

I'm not sure why "YOU" are trying to open your friends safe - something doesn't sound right there!!!    I'm also not sure what you mean by "FIND" a key for this safe???    

If you mean that SOMEWHERE in the world, a key to this safe MIGHT be in someone's collection, and you MIGHT stumble upon it some day, then the answer would be "YES"!    Of course they also say that if you take an unlimited number of monkeys, and unlimited amount of paper and an unlimited number of typewriters, "SOMEDAY" one of the monkeys will accidently type out the novel "War & Peace"!!!

If you are asking about finding a NEW key for this safe, from a manufacturer which has been out of business since 1853, then the answer would be "NO"!   There are also no aftermarket companies which might be able to supply locks, keys or parts for old safes.

If you are asking about having a key made for the safe, then the answer would also be "YES", however with a caveat!!!   In order to have a key made for your safe, you NEED a safe technician who is familiar with antique safes, and specifically your safe, as it may need to be opened to have a key made.
In the entire US, there might be a dozen safe technicians that can (#1) make a key for your safe, and (#2) do it without ruining the safe!

Fortunately there are two individuals in your area that I might recommend.   As far as time, availability or cost, you would have to discuss this with them (though don't plan on it being cheap - this is very much a specialty type work!).

The first company I would recommend would be:

Precision Lock & Safe, Inc.
516-616-0854          Elaad Israli
240 Jericho Tpke
Floral Park, NY 11001

The second company I would recommend would be:

Hanover Lock & Safe
Lock Defeat Technology
781-871-4346          Philip Shearer
990 Washington St.
Hanover, MA 02339

Good luck, hopefully one of these guys can make a key for you.

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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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