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Antique Safes/J. Baum Safe (late 1800's or early 1900's)



I live in southeast Georgia near Jacksonville, FL, and I need to hire someone to open my newly inherited J. Baum safe (Cincinnati).  The dial seems to be working fine.  Do locksmiths still do this sort of thing?  I want to use it again, and I would like to learn the fire rating for this safe, also.

I would appreciate any information or guidance from you.

Thank you,
Susan Beckner

Susan, you should be able to find someone in Jacksonville that does safe work on a regular basis.  Check for a shop that offers manipulation. That is not to say you safe will be opened that way but it is preferred when possible.  A professional drilling job will also leave you with a working safe.  It is commonly accepted in the trade that fire safes over 50 years old are no longer adequate.  I do not necessarily agree with this belief in many cases. Depends on the safe, the condition of the insulation, the environment in which the safe is located and what the safe is protecting.  But if fire protection is of major concern, data safes can sometimes be found in larger cities for very reasonable prices.  These are the best you can buy and were very expensive when new.  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 No longer current.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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