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Antique Safes/History and Value of Safe


Hello, I would like to know who (in the State of Michigan) to contact in order to obtain the combination to an old National Safe Locker Company (Cleveland, U.S.A.) Also, the approximate value of the safe. I am not certain whether or not the owner is interested in selling. Dimension are: 2'x 2'x 3' (Depth x Width x Height) The safe sits on four wheels that look similar to coal mining cart wheels. It is extremely heavy. The hinges have decorative ends that screw on and off. The numbers on the dial are so faded that you cannot read them. The safe is opened. The owner has placed a block of wood in the frame to keep it from being shut (again) accidentally. The dial on the safe is very sensitive. Just by luck the owner twirled the dial enough to get the door opened. Nothing inside. The photo images are not very good because the safe is in a dark basement with no light. I appreciate any information you can give me on this safe.

Mary, National made a lot of different safes including money chests, so it is a little difficult to put a value on something I can't see.  The pictures didn't post on here.  Regarding getting the combination, any good safe technician should be able to work that out for you.  Bigger cities will have someone and many rural locksmiths are also capable of dealing with the Yale hand change lock on your safe.  Just make sure to mention the type of lock as they can be a little difficult to work with, especially when worn which most are.  Doug

Antique Safes

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Doug MacQueen


This unusual and highly innovative safe from the later 1800's is a Corliss. William, the much younger brother of George Corliss of steam engine fame, spent several years perfecting this design and it was first displayed at the 1876 Philadelphia U.S. Centennial Exhibition. I do extensive patent research helping me in the study of antique U.S. safes and safe locks. Repairs and part making for antique U.S. safes of the early to mid 1800's, both key and combination. Also the study of early round door chest designs up to and including cannonball safes of the early 1900's.


40 years in the lock and safe trade with a stint in bank service work. Openings, repairs and moving of safes of all types.

Charter member Safe and Vault Technicians Association SAVTA, National Safemans Association NSO, National Antique Safe Association NASA. No longer current.

SAVTA monthly magazine

CMS (Certified Master Safecracker- NSO) and CPS (Certified Professional Safe Technician - SAVTA)

Awards and Honors
2nd place national combination manipulation contest 1986 and now in 2016 1st place

Past/Present Clients

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