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Antique Safes/Rough estimate on Safe


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Good afternoon.

I am hoping you might be able to give me a little information (including value) on this safe.

York Safe & Lock Co, York, PA  -York Floor Fire Insulated Safe  
20"W x 20"D x 28"H
one hour classification
Numbers on inside
Group 1 #71503
Spec F1-D     1Y16496
S.M.N.A. Rating 1 hour  Exposure - Cat # 2015-1

Hi Jennifer,

I don't do rough estimates or ball parks without examining a container to determine its actual condition, so I'll need much better photos.

Your York Safe & Lock Company safe is from the late 1950's, though it really wasn't York any longer.   After the death of S. Forry Laucks, President, General Manager and one of the owners in 1942, the company ran into serious management problems due to the lack of leadership.   Because York had several large Navy contracts, the US Navy took over operations, eventually hiring the Blaw-Knox company to manage York.   The Diebold Safe Company acquired the York Safe & Lock Company from the Navy around 1946, and continued the label until about 1959, when it was closed down.
Diebold and York safes manufactured during the 1950's were virtually identical except for the logo's which basically indicated which factory the safe came from.

The Safe Manufacturers National Association (SMNA) label you refer to, was a testing agency, similar to UL.    They provided "STANDARDS", so that safes built by various manufacturers would meet certain standards.   As a consumer if you purchased a one hour fire safe, regardless of the manufacturer, you would know that they were all basically the same, affording the same protections.

In your case the Specification "F1-D" indicates that this is a fire resistive safe.   The rating classification of 1 hour, indicates that it was built to meet the "ONE hour standard".   This ensured you that for at least one hour, the interior temperature of the safe would NOT exceed 350 degrees F.    As papers char around 412 degrees F, and combust at 451 degrees F, this would ensure some measure of protection for your documents.

This safe is NOT a burglary resistive container.

NOTE:   Safes OVER 50 years old (this would include yours), DO NOT meet any current standards for fire resistance, and should NOT be used for overnight storage of any valuables or valuable documents.    

Without seeing the safe further I can give you the following basic values:

Fire Resistance:     $0     Does not meet any current standards
Burglary resistance: $0     Is not a burglary resistive container
Resale:          $0     Has no commercial or retail value.
Antique/collectible: $0     this container is neither antique or collectible.    It is considered office equipment.

While the container has no value under any of the above categories, this doesn't mean that it has no value, however to evaluate it further I will need much better photos.

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 insulation 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, unless they are very clear and of sufficient resolution.   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.

Hope this helps,  

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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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