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Antique Safes/Tann Fortress


Mike, i am trying to find the date of manufacture for a Tann Fortress.The top bolt has the number SBC235. Also were they using Tannaloy and Adamantium when this safe was manufactured.
Many Thanks,

Hello Paul,

Thank you for your question

There were several versions of the Fortress all with the prefix letter SB or SBD (deposit version) but I can't find the prefix SBC.  Unfortunately all Tann records were 'lost' when the group was acquired by Gunnebo. Certainly in the last few versions of the Fortress, both Adamantium and Tannaloy were present but I can't vouch for earlier versions.

My old boss is now in his 80's and resides in the far north of Scotland.  He was the former Technical Director of John Tann and knows all there is to know about Tann safes.  I will forward you question to him and see if he can shed any light.  I will get back to you when I hear from him.

Best regards,

Mike Palmer FSyI
Mike Palmer Consultancy

Antique Safes

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Mike Palmer


I earn my living identifying safes and suggesting cash limits for risk advisors and insurance surveyors in the UK. I'm am pleased to comment on safes manufactured in the UK or Mainland Europe but I am unable to accept questions regarding safes made in the USA or elsewhere.


I have been in the UK safe industry for 40 years and have one of the largest archive databases of old safe literature and serial numbers in the country. I started with Chubb in 1960 and became Assistant Manager of their Bank Security Division before moving on to become the Insurance Liaison Manager with the John Tann Group. I became Sales & Marketing Director for Guardian Safes Limited before semi-retiring. I am a Fellow of the Security Institute and ex-Chairman of Eurosafe UK, a trade body representing the interests of UK safe makers and distributors. I now work as a part time consultant.

I am an advisor to the Safe Committee of the Association of Insurance Surveyors, a Fellow of the Security Institute and founding Chairman of Eurosafe UK.

I have had literally scores of articles published in various security trade publications. So far this year I have had 24 features published in various journals including Keyways, Professional Security, Pawnbroker and Safe India. I have published one book, Peckham Boy, the life and times of the world's greatest safe cracker.

No relevant educational credentials.

Awards and Honors
In 1997 I was awarded the annual shield by the Association of Insurance Surveyors for "..outstanding services to crime prevention"

Past/Present Clients
I have represented or been an agent for the John Tann Group (Stratford, Ratner, Dreadnought and Tann safes); Churchill Safes, Chubb Safe Co Ltd, SLS Safes, SMP Safes, Dudley Safes and several others

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