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Antique Safes/Reminton & Sherman Bank Vault


Inside vault door
Inside vault door  
Outside of vault door
Outside of vault door  
QUESTION: I recently purchased an old bank building that still has the bank vault with various makes and models of safe deposit boxes. I'm interested in the year of the vault door and the safe deposit boxes and a value of the door and the individual deposit boxes. I might be interested in entertaining offers on all the items.


Remington & Sherman organized around 1892 and continued through 1941.

As far as value - vault doors have little to no value, when they are installed - as yours is.    If the door is removed and cleaned - ready for sale, THEN it has potential value.

Problem with moving (or removing) doors like this are several, including the weight and installation of the door.   As the door, frame and vestibule are designed to be moved as a single unit, weight could easily be in the 4 to 6 ton range  (8000 to 12,000 lbs).    Secondly is installation - usually these doors were grouted in place.    All of the concrete would need to be saw cut to remove the door.     then the old concrete would need to be removed from the door.     Cost to remove the door could easily be around $10,000 - so you can see that your door is starting with a negative value.

As for the safe deposit boxes, generally these have little value, and as the older boxes are obsolete, most banks are NOT going to be using them.    This type of equipment we would usually charge you to haul them away.    you can talk to Underwood Safe & Vault in Oklahoma to see if they would be interested.    They are the go to guys for older safe deposit locks, though they aren't going to offer much for them.

Sorry I don't have better news for you at this time.

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

QUESTION: Still would be interested in finding out the exact year. I have no problem spending $10,000 to remove it if I knew the door was worth $40,000. I might have someone local to remove it for me. So I would still be interested in a value if the door was out and in storage. Hope you can help. Thanks.


you have to look at your target buying population.   As this door cannot be used by anyone in the financial industry, or pretty much  for any commercial business, other than as a display, this limits potential customers down to private buyers.

While they are out there, finding them is rather difficult unless you have a way of storing and showing the door off.    Unless you HAVE to remove the door, it is possibly in the best place for now.   If you find a buyer then you can begin the process of removing it, etc.

Generally with all of the associated costs with doors like these, you may be lucky to get $5000 to $10,000 for the door.    Obviously I would expect you to advertise high, however you should be prepared to drop the value, depending on how fast you want or need to sell it.    If you have unlimited time, then you WILL eventually find a buyer willing to pay your asking price.

I wish the answer was better, however you are looking at a VERY limited market, which is why the majority of doors like yours simply stay put and are not removed.

The only time you make money on projects like this, would be when you HAVE to remove the vault as part of an upgrade project.   Because the costs for demolition of the vault is built into the project, ANY money you can recoup is simply bonus money.    So offering the door for sale at this time is a good idea, though again,  the market is rather small and unless you have a buyer already in line, or you have some place to store the door until a buyer can be found, you may be looking at selling it rather low.

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

QUESTION: I understand where you are coming from. Is there any way that I could find out the exact year? I know you said they where made between 1892-1941 but if I do advertise it to sell, it would nice to know the exact year. Hope I'm not being a pain. I'm just trying to do my homework. Thanks again.

Hi Ed,

While I appreciate your question and wanting more info on the vault door, I can't be of much help for the following reasons.

Sorry but there are no records available for this company, so there is no way of giving you an "EXACT" year!

As far as the interest in "the year something was made", this is a fairly recent phenome that didn't gain a lot of momentum until probably in the 1970's.    Pretty much no one cared WHEN something was made only that it worked.   Warranties weren't based on the year of manufacturer and how long it was expected to last, they were based on honor and a companies word and reputation.
This "year made" thing didn't begin to get a foot hold until auto's began to be made in larger quantities, and the selling point was always "buying next years model".    As this thought sequence didn't prevail in the security industry, it wasn't about having the latest model, it was simply about having the BEST safe or vault door.    As such manufacturers NEVER put dates of manufacture on their safes or doors up until around the 1960's, and then it was for different reasons.

As such the only way for us to "DATE" a safe or vault door in many cases is to look at its construction and installed components to come up with a "date range".   Usually I can get it down to within a 5-10 year period, but that's about as close as you are going to get to an exact date.  

If you would like me to look at the door more closely to see what I can come up with for you, then I will need MUCH better photos than you have provided so far.

In order to answer specific questions, identify, evaluate or appraise your door, I'm going to need photos.  They should include full exterior and interior.  Detail photos should include pictures of the dial, handles, hinges, artwork, locks, bolt work, cabinetry and any special details or damage.  Note:  You may have to remove the back panel on the door to gain access to the lock & bolt work – I will need these pics.
If you have a particular detail that you have a question about, I will need a photo of it along with your question.

I will also need to see any documentation that you have in regards to your door.  If your door has a unique historical perspective, you should be able to document this with letters, newspaper articles or photos, if not it is simply a story and will have no bearing on the value of your door.

Please use as high a resolution as possible so that I can examine details of your door.  Pictures which are low resolution, out of focus, or from a distance don’t help when we try to evaluate the container.  Note:  with higher resolution, you may only be able to send 2-4 pictures per email, depending on the size of the file, I have a 12mb limit per email.  If photos are larger than 2mb each, you may only be able to send 2 or 3 photos per email, requiring several emails.

Please don’t send me “cell phone” photos, unless they are very clear and of sufficient resolution.   Also, please don’t use online, internet photo drops as most of these also don’t allow me to easily access the photos for examination.   Send the pics directly to me, while this may be more work for you, it will make my job easier.

Please send all of the requested photos to:

Note:  As I am in the field several days each week, covering a huge service area, I may not get back to your photos immediately, but I will respond as soon as I get an opportunity.  Due to field work, emails may tend to get backed up which means I may not answer them immediately.

Our informal evaluation is at no charge, however if you feel you need a formal evaluation or appraisal for insurance, estate sales, donations for tax write offs, or to establish it as an antique, there is an administrative fee for this service.

While I realize this is more work for you, it is what I will need to try to help you out.

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland Safes from the 1860'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.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. 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. 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

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 - 2013 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

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

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