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Antique Safes/Value of a Herring-Hall-Marvin Safe



I am looking for a potential monetary value of a safe.  It is a Herring-Hall-Marvin safe that I need to dispose of as surplus (under municipal procurement laws).  Outside dimensions are: 72(H), 40(W), & 27(D).  There is no date of manufacture that I can easily find.  Tag on inside of right door shows SPEC: F1-D, and is stamped with number: 1Y-106349.  Tag also states: Fire Insulated Safe SMNA Class "B".  See pictures attached.

Hi Dan,

Generally manufacturers NEVER put dates of manufacture on safes as it really doesn't matter in most cases.    Unfortunately we have been programmed by advertising on TV to ALWAYS want the latest greatest new car or TV or phone or etc. etc. etc.     Having last years model is "the most important thing in life" to many people - who probably need to get a life!!!!

The ONLY reasons that age is important with a safe - UNLESS you are collecting them - is that pretty much AFTER it is 50 years old it no longer meets ANY current standards for burglary or fire protection.    New designs come out regularly, when ever burglars figure out how to break into the safe, manufacturers come up with new ways to keep them out.    Fire resistive containers have insulation which no longer meets the current standards, and with age it is often cracked and broken, sometimes severely.    Without regular inspections most owners don't know when a safe no longer meets its standard, and shouldn't be used as a fire resistive container.

Okay, now on to the basics of your safe.   The Safe Manufacturers National Association (SMNA) was a testing agency, similar to UL.   Testing safes and setting standards for construction.    This agency was around from the mid 1920's through the early 1960's (they went out of business sometime between 1962-64).

Specification "F1-D" indicates that this container was constructed as a "Fire Resistive" safe.
Classification "B" indicates that it was given a 2 hour fire resistive label.

As your safe was constructed during the late 1940's through about 1959, as mentioned above it NO LONGER meets ANY current standards for fire resistance, and it is NOT a burglary resistive safe.

Basic values for the container are as follows:
Fire resistance:     $0     Does not meet any current standards
Burglary:          $0     Not burglary resistive
Resale:          $0     has no commercial or retail value.    Should NOT be used for overnight storage of cash, jewelry or valuable documents.
Antique/collectible: $0     is neither antique or collectible.    Basically this container is considered "OLD office equipment".

While it doesn't meet any of the above standards, this doesn't necessarily mean that it has no value and as long as you understand its capabilities (or lack of) it will make a more than satisfactory general purpose storage or security container.

The biggest problems with selling an item like this are its size.    Smaller safes are much easier to sell as people don't have to use or need special equipment to move them.   Even though it has wheels, as heavy as it is, it is not going to be easy to move.

If it were at our company, and in good enough condition to sell, it would probably be in the $400 to $600 range, however we would NOT be listing it as a fire or burglary resistive safe, as it does not meet these standards.

As far as disposing of the container, it contains no asbestos in the insulation material, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Hope this helps.   If you have any specific questions concerning the container feel free to drop me a line.

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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

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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