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Antique Safes/Strongbox/Chest




I recently purchased what I believe is a Army strongbox.  I have read several of your previous post on very similar chest.  

As you can see it has been painted blue sometime during its life.  However it is an older looking OD Green on the bottom.  I am curious, who is the maker? Approximate age? Ballpark value?  Maybe a little history on the piece.  I have been unable to find any marking what so ever.   I'm not looking to sell, I purchased it in hopes to return it to a more original condition and will serve for the most part as a conversation piece.


Hi Eric,

These containers were made by several companies between around 1910 to 1930.   Without better photos its going to be hard to ID it, especially as the contract called for them all to be very similar.

You might be able to strip the paint, one layer at a time to get to the original colors and lettering but that's a lot of work.

as far as value goes, there is a limited market of collectors, mainly being those doing WWI collecting or reenactments type venues.

Values run from $150 to $500 depending on condition.   As yours has been repainted and it is missing all of the original lettering it would be towards the lower end.    Always ask high if you are selling and let them work you down to a price comfortable to both you and the buyer.

As you have it for a conversation piece, it should make a great one, especially if you restore it back to original paint colors.

Sorry I can't give you more info, but without much better photos of the container, bolt work, dial and lock, I won't be able to narrow it down much more.

You can send me photos at:  

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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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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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