You are here:

Antique Safes/america steel safe

Advertisement


Question
my customer has an old safe and someone closed the door and locked it before she could get the combination.
identifying info is america safe syracuse ny
halls safe co cincinati oh
serial number on handle is 72909

i found your site on a google search for america safe
http://www.allexperts.com/user.cgi?m=4&expID=102720&catID=3774

we want to get into safe the least invasive way.
either a registered combination or if needed drill points

or a source to help me find this info

Answer
Hi John,

The safe can't be from "two" manufacturers!!!    Having a name like "American Safe" was like having a name like "Smith or Jones"!    Hundreds of different companies used the name "American" in some fashion or another.

The main manufacturer in Syracuse, NY - between 1885 to 1930 was the "Syracuse Safe Company".    Safes were also sold under the name "American Steel Safe Company" which was based out of Boston, but may have had a sales office in Syracuse as well.     This company sold safes manufactured by several other companies so they may have been a general agent more than a manufacturer.

the Hall's Safe Company was in business from October 1896 until around 1929.    If the safe has both names on the safe, then I would have to assume (without actually seeing the safe) that it is probably a "Hall's" - sold at some point by American.

In order to try to narrow down the ID, I would need photos of the safe.

As for your request for a "registered combination" - unless you have a time machine, you are pretty much out of luck, as none of these companies have been around since about 1929ish.

We DO NOT give out ANY opening information other than proper dialing sequence for the lock which we believe to be installed on the safe.    No other options for opening safes is provided for obvious security and liability reasons.     This site is an open forum, available to anyone.
If you need help or instructions, my first recommendation would be to direct you to either SAVTA or NSO, both of which can provide necessary info to their members.   If you aren't a member but plan on doing safe work, then you should seriously consider joining.    NSO is probably my first recommendation.

National Safeman's Organization (NSO)
http://www.davemcomie.com/nso.htm

Safe & Vault Technicians Association  (SAVTA)
http://www.savta.org/membership.php

Your first course of business should be properly identifying the safe in question, AND the lock possibly installed.

Hope this helps,



In order to answer questions, identify, evaluate or appraise the “current condition” of your safe, I'm going to need photos.  They should include full exterior and interior.  Detail photos (close-ups) 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 use a “jpeg” format, not a bitmap (bmp) image.   Also, I don’t like “website” photo dumps.   While it may be an easy place for you to store them, retrieving photos which allow me to zoom in to look at details, takes a lot of extra time.   Please send the requested photos directly to me.

Please send all of the requested photos to:  andy@securitysafeusa.com

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.  

Antique Safes

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

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.

Experience

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

Organizations
Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
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

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.