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Antique Safes/Grandpa's old safe


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I have an old safe that I'd like to know what the value might be as my neighbor said that they would like to have it if I ever wanted to get rid of it. I don't want to give away the safe is valuable.
I have attached some photos of the safe for your review.

Hi Cindy,

Your safe is from "Steelcase Safes", a division of "The Metal Office Furniture Co., Grand Rapids, MI".    Began in business around 1912, but I don't show that they have made any safes since around WWII or the early 1950's.
Peter M. Wedge was instrumental in starting the company.   He was one of the designers and executives of both The Safe Cabinet Company and General Fire Proofing Company - both makers of fire resistive safes.
While both The Safe Cabinet Company and General Fireproofing Company, were known users of asbestos as an insulation material, I don't have any records indicating that the Metal Office Furniture Company (or Steelcase) ever used it - HOWEVER, that being said, it wouldn't surprise me much to find out they did.

My recommendation would be to have the container tested for asbestos as this could be a significant issue.   If it has the material, then your next step would be to investigate your federal, state and local HAZMAT restrictions to find out what your legal and/or liabilities might be.

As far as value - basically it has none, and in fact until it has been ascertained that it does not contain asbestos, it would have a negative value - that being costs for testing and/or disposal.    Make sure your neighbors are aware of its potential before selling it.

As far as the asbestos goes, it is a great insulation media, AND as long as it is kept sealed in the walls of the container, AND does not become airborne, AND is not inhaled - it DOES NOT pose any significant health risk.

Basic values:
Fire resistance:     $0     Does not meet any current standards.   Safes over 50 years old are no longer current - yours could easily be around 70 to 100 years old.
Burglary:          $0     This is NOT a burglary resistive safe.
Resale:          $0     Has no commercial or retail value
Antique/Collectible  $0     is not considered antique or collectible

If I were to put a sale sign on it, with all of the unknowns above, it would be around $200-$250 - WITH the disclaimer that it MAY contain asbestos as an insulation material.

If I had the unit at my house / in my garage, I would probably use if for something like AMMO storage, or something similar that requires a minimum amount of fire resistance.

Sorry the news isn't what you were hoping for,  

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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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