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Antique Safes/safe restoration


I bought a safe at an auction this past weekend and I would like to restore it. Above the door it appears to have "Freeman and Son". It also has a picture about 2" high and 3" wide of what looks to be a farmhouse setting on the upper part of the door. When I took the back of the door off there was a code stamped on it 8/31. I wondered if that was the year it was made. I would like to find that picture so I could refurbished the door. Also I would like to have the combination mechanism redone. Where would I have that sent to have it re-brassed.I am in the central east coast area.

Thomas, the name above the safe is usually the original buyer of the safe.  This practice seems to have died out around WWI, so I doubt it is from the 1930's.  However since it has a combination lock it would not be from the 1830's.  So no probably not a date of manufacture.  Hard to say on the farmhouse scene.  Could have been copied from an existing picture but more likely not.  Probably Wilson Safe in Philadelphia is your best bet on the combination work.  They may also know of a brass plating company as well out in that area.  Doug

Antique Safes

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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 No longer current.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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