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Antique Safes/Safe Door Description


Manganese Safe
Manganese Safe  
I was wondering if you could give me a quick run-down of the features of this safe door.  I am writing a fantasy story, and wish to use this safe door as the jumping off point for creating a secured door.  Not being very safe-savvy, I need a basic rundown so I can limit my research to those items relevant to this particular door.

Thank you for your time.  It is deeply appreciated.

Colin, it is a thin (about 1" plate) turn of the century bank vault door with a crane hinge.  It has a single bronze Yale combination lock. The wheel is used to operate the compression bar across the door face.  This mechanism forces the tight fitting door in and out of the jamb.  Because it is such a tight fit, the center hung crane hinge allows for a slight pivoting action of the door so it can move straight into the jamb.  Since the door was made by the Manganese Steel Safe Co., it's a safe assumption it is a manganese steel door, which was virtually undrillable at the time it was made. This door would typically be found in a fairly small rural bank.  Doug

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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 No longer current.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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