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Antique Safes/Hall's Safe and Lock Co.; safe with serial number 82346


I recently purchased a Hall's Safe and Lock Co. safe with serial number 82346. I now have some idea from reading a response to a post from another owner of a Hall's safe, but about how old is this safe? Is it in any way fire-resistant by today's standards; would it receive a half-hour rating? I removed the left door panel and it revealed what appears to be some sort of concrete. Does it have any measure of security by today's standards?

This safe is physically operational, but has been badly neglected and I have no idea what it's original color was (it is now a very chalky and flaking black), let alone any intricate artwork that may have been on its exterior. What would its outward appearance have looked like when new?

Hi Joseph,

Congratulations on your acquisition of your old Hall's Safe & Lock Company safe.  

Based on your serial number, your safe would have been made between 1878-1880, so it is antique and it is collectible.

As far as a "rating", no it doesn't qualify for ANY current classification - period!   If you want it to qualify, you would have to submit it for testing, which is pretty much - destructive, which defeats the purpose of having it tested!

If YOU need a container to keep and protect documents in, then don't play games with an antique safe, buy a current model that meets and has been tested against current standards.
Your safe is basically a conversation or display item!

This doesn't mean that your safe wasn't built to meet extreme heat conditions, but due to age, deterioration, cracking, etc.  there is NO way to guarantee that your safe will do what it was originally designed for.   The analogy that I use would be getting your Great-Grandfather to be a security guard at your business, and expecting him to perform the same as a 25 year old, US Marine!    It doesn't matter that 100 years ago, he good perform just as good, this isn't then, its NOW, and they don't provide the same types of protection!

Generally the safes were painted Black - though other colors were available as well.   Art work went from simple pin striping and lettering to quality oil paintings.    One such Painter who was working for the Hall's Safe & Lock Company at this time, was John Hauser.   He worked for Joseph Hall from around 1875 until 1880.   You can find some examples of his work by going to:

I do have some photos of safes from around the same time period as your safe, that I would be happy to share with you - I can't guarantee quality of the photos, as they are of other owners safes, and they are - as is - in their current condition.     You will need to send a direct request to my email to receive them.   Make sure that you indicate what your email is about, as I receive 50-100 similar emails every day, and by tomorrow, I'm not going to remember this posting!

If you would like me to look at your safe, I would be more than happy to.

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.  

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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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