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Antique Safes/Mosler Safe -- estimated age?


QUESTION: My place of employment is trying to determine how old our Mosler safe is. We believe it is as old as our organization, which was established in 1949.

The safe is a two-door model, and all its components still work.

As far as I can tell, the model number is 325942.

Can you help us?

Many thanks,

Barbara L.

ANSWER: Hi Barbara,

While the safe may be late 1940's through early 1960's, I'm not sure where you came up with the number 3255942???   If this were the serial number the safe would have been from the late 1920's or early 30's - which it doesn't appear to be.

This is no a model number and it is NOT the serial number.

The Tag in your photo is from a "Testing Agency" and NOT the manufacturer.   The tag ONLY indicates the "STANDARD" the safe was built to - other than that it has nothing to do with the safe, and the numbers on the tag are for the tag itself.

In this case the SMNA specification "F-1D" indicates that it is an insulated record safe, fire resistant.    The classification "C" indicates that it was rated for 1 hour of fire resistance.

If there is a serial number on the safe it is probably on a small metal tag, which should be along the bottom frame edge, below the two doors.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Safe Tag 3
Safe Tag 3  

Safe Tag 4
Safe Tag 4  

I found two other tags. The first is beneath the two doors as you suggested. The other is where I saw the 3255942 number.


Hi Barbara,

The small metal tag on the bottom is the serial number (19899-11)   Your safe was built during the early 1960's  (60-64) so it is NOT nearly as old as you believed it to be.

Also as the safe is over 50 years old, it does not meet any current standards for fire resistance, and it is NOT a burglary resistive safe - The "T-20" burglary classification is actually only a "Tamper Resistance" test, NOT a burglary resistive test.

Out of the three tags, the red Mosler tag on the front is just a manufacturers representation of the "UL" tag.   The SMNA tag was a second standards testing agency.

What other questions do you have concerning your safe???

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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

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