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Antique Safes/mosler safe?


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QUESTION: While cleaning out an old store room in a shopping plaza, we came across an old safe that appears to be a Mosler. Did a bing search and could not find anything like this one but the hinge and door suggests a Mosler. What could you tell me about it? We want to sell it off and want an idea on where to start. Thanks!


ANSWER: David, you won't find searching Mosler because it is a Diebold.  Quite expensive when new but now they have become somewhat of a dinosaur.  Given the current condition you would pretty much have to give it away.  Does the lock work?  Are the 3 bolts rusted in the door?  If the answer is yes then you will probably have to pay to get someone to haul it away.  Doug

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QUESTION: Everything appears to work although we don't know the combination of the tumbler. It is dirty and hasn't been cleaned yet but it appears the rust is surface rust. Would it be cost effective to take it in for recycling?

To verify the chest is worth saving, the combination must be determined and tried with the door open.  As long as the lock works and the bolts retract, there is hope.  This work should be done by someone familiar with these Diebold tri-bolt doors, as they are quite different than most locks.  I do have some locks and parts if you find  you need something.  Obviously the rust needs to be cleaned off. The lock and bolts should be removed to accomplish this.  So at this point you will have invested a couple hundred in time and money.  In working condition the chest is easily worth $1000 for the burglary protection it gives but you may find it slow in finding a buyer. Doug  

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Doug MacQueen


This unusual and highly innovative safe from the later 1800's is a Corliss. William, the much younger brother of George Corliss of steam engine fame, spent several years perfecting this design and it was first displayed at the 1876 Philadelphia U.S. Centennial Exhibition. I do extensive patent research helping me in the study of antique U.S. safes and safe locks. Repairs and part making for antique U.S. safes of the early to mid 1800's, both key and combination. Also the study of early round door chest designs up to and including cannonball safes of the early 1900's.


40 years in the lock and safe trade with a stint in bank service work. Openings, repairs and moving of safes of all types.

Charter member Safe and Vault Technicians Association SAVTA, National Safemans Association NSO, National Antique Safe Association NASA. No longer current.

SAVTA monthly magazine

CMS (Certified Master Safecracker- NSO) and CPS (Certified Professional Safe Technician - SAVTA)

Awards and Honors
2nd place national combination manipulation contest 1986 and now in 2016 1st place

Past/Present Clients

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