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QUESTION: My safe is a H.R.Cary&son Buffalo NY I dont have the turning sequence the numbers are 65 54 43 on the knob of the dial it says sargent and greenleaf rochester Ny The line to line up the numbers has A ster on the line the handal to open the safe is a tee handal would you be able to help me with the lr-rl sequence?

ANSWER: Hi Steve,

I don't recall seeing the "logo" - "H.R.Cary & Son, Buffalo, NY" before, as the name on the majority of the safes was simply "Cary Safe Company, Buffalo, NY".

As you've reported the dial says "Sargent & Greenleaf", this would indicate that this was an early Cary safe.   They only used S&G on very early safes and on the last few.

I would love to see what you actually have to help you identify it.

The early Cary safes used the S&G C62 series locks, these came in both three and four wheel versions.   As you've only indicated having three numbers, we can assume that either it is a three wheel lock, or the first two wheels are set on the same number, so the following dialing sequence should work:

5 times left to the first number, 65
3 times right to the second number, 54
2 times left to the third number, 43
1 time right until the dial stops (should be between 80-90),  turn handle to open.

Note:   Left is counter clockwise, right is clockwise.   DO NOT count the revolutions of the dial, count the individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.
For instance for the first number, simply start turning the dial counter clockwise (left), stopping the fifth time the number 65 arrives at the index mark - or  Left to 65 once, 65 twice, 65 three times, 65 four times, stopping on 65 the fifth time it arrives at the index mark.

If it still won't open, then you are either making a dialing error or you don't have the correct numbers.   You may need a safe technician to check the safe out at this point.

I would be happy to look at the safe to see what you actually have and to try to come up with a date of manufacturer for you, however I will need good quality photos.   I will also need the serial number of the safe.

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 Ė 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 donít 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 donít send me ďcell phoneĒ photos, unless they are very clear and of sufficient resolution.   Also, please donít use online, internet photo drops as most of these also donít 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.

Hope this helps,

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

QUESTION: It worked! The dial stopped on 98. On the inside of the door on the very top are numbers 17695 Barnes Safe&lock Co Pittsb'g. PA everything is hand painted with a brush.The front of the safe is hand painted also. And it does say H.R.Cary&son.There is also a murial painting of a lake one evergreen tree with mountians in the back ground. Thanks for your help. If its worth a million dallars let me know!

Hi Steve,

I would love to see your safe, to see what you actually see what you have.   I'm trying to track Cary safes by their serial numbers and the locks installed, so that I can provide a better service to owners of these safes.

I would appreciate it if you could send me the requested photos of your safe.

Glad it worked out and is open.


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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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