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Antique Safes/Syracuse Safe Co. Safe.


Syracuse safe
Syracuse safe  
QUESTION: Hi Andy, I was told you may be able to help me in my quest for information on my new safe, it is t too fancy but a locally made piece that I love. Seems that there is really no information online regarding my safe or the company so here I am.
I am curious of the age, approximate value, any fun facts about the company, and honestly just what you think of it. I love any history that goes along with a piece I bring home and it kills me not to be able to read up on this thing. Please send me your email and I will send many detailed photos.
Thank you!

ANSWER: Hi Nick,

I'm always happy to help someone who is trying to rescue or salvage one of these older safes.

The Syracuse Safe Company was in business from 1885 until the beginning of the Great Depression - around 1930, though I haven't found an actual "end date" yet.
Note:   I did find an obituary of a prior employee, which indicated that he worked for this company for 25 years, retiring in 1931.
In 1904 after incorporating, the company increased its work force from 20 men to 75.  In 1909 the company obtained a new factory site, having plans for a building of 300 ft x 150 ft, and planned on tripling the work force to handle all of the new orders.   In July of 1910 the company had received an order for 5000 safes from South America.
They also increased manufacturing to include building burglar proof vaults for banks.
By late 1930, many of the principle founders of the company had died off, and with the beginning of the Great Depression, like many companies, they couldn't maintain operations.

I would be more than happy to look at your safe to answer any specific questions that you might have about it.

In order to answer specific questions, identify, evaluate or appraise your safe, 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, castors, 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 safe.  If your safe 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 safe.

Please use as high a resolution as possible so that I can examine details of your safe.  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.

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

QUESTION: Hi again Andy, was just checking back to see if you have recieved my email with all the pictures. Am a little nervous it did not go through correctly. Thank you again!

Hi Nick,

Emails go to my work email, so I won't see them until Monday at the earliest.   I generally respond as quickly as I'm able, depending on my work load, etc. for that day.

AllExperts is a volunteer site that I do when I'm at home, in the evening or on weekends, everything else goes through my work email.

If you don't hear from me by Tuesday, then check back with me again.  

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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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