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Antique Safes/Herring Hall Marvin safe


Front view
Front view  

Lock view
Lock view  
Hi, Doug. I was referred to you by Mike's Restoration. He thought you might help me identify my HHM safe. I'm considering what to do as far as a restoration or ??? I'm pretty sure the thing isn't really valuable, so I'll probably go with a custom paint job. I need new finials and although the lock mechanism and tumbler works well, one of the 3 latch bars is bad. The horizontal one appears to be actually broken off. I could probably have a piece welded to it, as it's mostly there. anyway, do how can I date or identify this safe? Any suggestions or ideas on my resto job? Thanks.

Ray, you are correct in that it not really valuable.  It would be from the early 1900's and appears from these pictures to be a light weight burglary safe with little to no fire protection.  Sometimes they are called skeleton safes because the boltwork is exposed.  I wouldn't imagine repairing the broken bolt to be a big deal.  It certainly could be used as a home burglary safe, handgun or liquor cabinet.  I tend to be a purist when it comes to repaint, keeping things original.  But that's just my opinion.  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 No longer current.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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