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Antique Safes/Antique Diebold Floor Safe

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QUESTION: Hello,

I am currently searching for more information and a possible value on a floor safe i purchased recently. i cannot seem to find any useful information on the internet as i cannot find pictures of this model anywhere. i will include plenty of pictures that i have taken and any useful information i have as well. Please let me know where i can send the rest of the images to.

ANSWER: Hi Brad,

Very nice - A Diebold standard safe, with an interior bankers door.    It is much more common to see this same safe with a jewelers chest than a bankers door.

I would be more than happy to look at your safe to see what info I can provide and/or questions that I can answer, but I will need much better photos.


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:  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.



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

QUESTION: I very much appreciate the quick response. i am looking specifically for any more historical information and to whom this safe might have been sold to. it was sitting in a bowling alley for 40 years prior to this so i personally do not have any documentation on it and the owner before me has passed. i am now sending all the photos i have to you. thank you

ANSWER: Hi Brad,

Unfortunately this type of information is simply not available.   If you don't have any information concerning prior ownership of the safe from previous owners, then it simply starts with you - or in this case the bowling alley.

Manufacturers don't have any info on safe ownership as generally the safes are sold through a sales agent.   Sales men tend to jump from location to location, selling what ever makes them money.    They don't generally keep records for more than a few years.   As I didn't see any sales agent information on the photos you provided, we can't even start with who originally might have sold this safe, and/or where it may have been sold.

While you can contact the manufacturer to see if they have any old records of when your safe was made and/or who may have sold or purchased the safe originally, they WILL need the serial number of the safe.    It should be stamped into the ball of the handle.

While occasionally you may run into someone at the factory willing to provide or research historical info, I wouldn't count on it.   In general if you are not buying hundreds of containers and/or are one of their larger clients (banks or government) they tend to be a bit less than helpful.

Diebold's customer service and support number is:    800-343-2653

Have the serial number ready and let them know that you have a safe from the early 1900's that you would like to know when it was made, and if they have any info on who it may have been sold to or shipped to.

Hopefully they will be able to help you out, but don't count on much.


Basically the history of your safe will go something like this:

Date of Manufacturer:   ______________

Ownership from date of manufacture until 1976:     Unknown

Ownership from 1976 until present:    Bowling Alley (or name of owner)

Current ownership:   Brad _________________,    Date of acquisition:  _________________


Sorry, I wish I could point you towards a data base of ownership for your safe, but their simply is no such thing.   This is why I try to get current owners to maintain as complete a listing as possible, as someday they might die and the item is passed along and the next person will have no knowledge of who owned the item.    Everybody has to do their part or there simply isn't a record.

I'm really glad to see that you are interested in this information as it will make the life story of your safe that much more interesting.

You may want to examine your safe fully as there may be some information or clues on the safe that will lead you towards previous owners.    Never can tell what type of "graffiti" people might leave behind!



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

QUESTION: All this information is very helpful. I just have one or two more questions. Is this safe rare since I haven't found anything online that looks like this one? And can you put an approximate value on it?

Thank you

Answer
Hi Brad,

As I indicated originally, this was Diebold's "STANDARD" safe - produced from the early 1880's through the late 1920's.    The variations or options included a couple different standard cabinetry interiors, a jewelers chest for security and with the interior bankers door for more security.   Actual "Bankers Safes" had all of the heavy steel on the OUTSIDE of the safe, and possibly included some fire resistance.

This is not a rare safe, nor is it unique, it was simply an available option.

What do we generally see more of???    The Standard fire safe with cabinetry is by far the more common, with the Standard safe with an installed jewelers chest coming in second.    The Standard safe with the interior bankers door is by far the fewest, but we see these safes on a regular basis so as not to classify them as "rare".    Diebold bankers with the automatic bolt work would be much more unique and rare - though again we do see these on a regular basis as well.

As far as seeing these on line, we used to use a term early on in computers called "GIGO" which stands for "Garbage in, Garbage out".   The internet is ONLY as good as the information that is placed on it.   Just because people don't post stuff, doesn't mean it's not out there.   That's one of the reason that I'm available.

As for a value, in my original response to you, I indicated that I would be more than happy to look at your safe, however I will need ALL of the requested photos.   Please reread that posting to get a list of all of the photos necessary.    ALL of them are required to evaluate or appraise your safe.

Send all of the requested photos to me at:    andy@securitysafeusa.com  

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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

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