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Antique Safes/mosler screw door bank safe


You responded to my question earlier and said the serial number for my Mosler Screw Door Bank Safe should be on the hinge or handle as well as other locations. I have cleaned the hinges and handle and still cannot find the serial number, where else could I look?
         Thank you

Hi John,

I didn't say "should" as in "this is where you will find it".    I said should as in "these are locations I've found them".

Generally "IF" the serial number was put on the container, it was usually fairly easy to find, and it was usually "stamped" into the metal.   Either into the ball of the handle, possibly on the bolt work, etc.    I've also found serial numbers which were hand painted on the safes.

If you have been all over your container and haven't found a serial number, it may not have one.

Serial numbers were not used by safe companies, over 100 years ago, the way we use serial numbers today.   They simply used them to keep track of how many units were made, as well as what type of unit the container was.

companies today keep track of serial numbers more for warranty and/or recall issues than for the number of units manufactured.

With the relatively small number of screw door type safes that were made, it wouldn't surprise me that the maker didn't stamp serial numbers on them.    I looked at all the photos of cannonball and screw door chests that I have, and couldn't see anything that I would class as a serial number for the safe, though I did see numbers stamped in various locations on some of them.

All I can say is to look in every nook and cranny for it, however, I wouldn't waste a lot of time if it isn't obvious.    If you need it for trying to date the container.   These safes were made from around the mid 1890's through the 1920's.    Having an exact date isn't going to affect the value nearly as much as its condition will.    I would be more concerned with its condition.

Sorry I can't be of more help, unfortunately manufacturers like Mosler NEVER published listings of serial numbers and/or where they located them.  

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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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