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Antique Safes/The Halls Safe Co Cincinatti, O - Value Request




I would like to start off saying thank you.  Offering to lend your expertise to help people find the value of their antique safe is very kind.  I need to get an idea of the value of my antique safe (if it qualifies as one).  Also can you tell me if it is fire proof/antique/specialized info.  I purchased it from someone that needed it removed from their garage and they didn't have much history on it except the basics of the name rights issue.  My "The Halls Safe Co Cincinnati, O" safe seems to be in great condition.  Fortunately everything works (locking mechanism, combo, 3 keys, hinges, etc).  It looks like original paint and interior, but I'm no expert.  

On the back panel of the outer door it states: "HALL PATENT APRIL 3d 1906."

On the face of the outer door it states: "NOT HALLS SAFE AND LOCK CO OR ITS SUCCESSOR (which quit business in 1892)
Along with the disclaimer is an eagle with "The Halls Safe CO Cincinnati/ Made in the USA"

The lock/unlock mechanism on the front panel has a serial number on it "60157"

The nob for the combination has "T.H.S. CO CINCINNATI, O. U.S.A PO BOX 848" written in a circle.

Once you open the outer door there is another door that unlocks by key.  Inside there is an open space to the right from bottom to top except one shelf space at the top section.  On the left there is 5 spaces with the top being an internal lock box.  I have all keys and they work without any problem.

Seems to weigh somewhere in the ballpark of around 400-450 lbs.

Hi Scott,

I'll start out answering your question with a bit of history, so that some items on your safe will come into context.

Joseph Hall began in the safe making business in the mid 1840's with his father Edward Hall.   By the late 1840's he was fully on his own.   The original business name was Joseph Hall & Company.   While the "Hall's Safe & Lock Company" name was used as early as the 1850's the company didn't incorporate under this name until 1867.
Joseph's sons began working for this company a short time later - Edward C. in 1868, William H. in 1874 and Charles O. Hall in 1876.    Shortly after Joseph's death in 1889, the three son's merged this company with several others to form the "Herring-Hall-Marvin Safe Company" in 1892.  Manufacturing continued at all of the original factories from the 1892 merger date until mid 1897 when all manufacturing was moved to a new facility in Hamilton, OH.   In 1896, the Hall's brothers had a falling out with the board of directors of HHM over the planned move to a new facility, and has they had met all of there contractual obligation with HHM, they were released and/or left HHM.  In October of 1896 the Hall's brothers began a NEW safe company under the name of Hall's Safe Company.    HHM immediately began a protracted lawsuit against them which lasted from 1897 until it was finally settled by the Supreme Court in 1906/07 in their favor, though they were prohibited from any mention of their fathers company, or the fact that they had learned the safe making business while in the employee of the Hall's Safe & Lock Company = Hence the disclaimer:   "Not Hall's Safe and Lock Company or its Successor, which quit business in 1892"    Hall's Safe Company had actually began using the disclaimer years earlier as part of one of the earlier lawsuits, but it helped them in the end as they were making no claims to their father's company or Herring-Hall-Marvin (the successor!).

If you hadn't already figured it out - the "THS CO, Cincinnati, OH" is an initial reference to "The Hall's Safe Company, Cincinnati, OH"

The patent date ISN'T a date of manufacture, it is simply a reference to one of their patents which was issued "April 3rd, 1906".    This patent was referred to for at least the next 10+ years.   What it does is gives us a date that the safe couldn't have been built prior to.
As your safe appears to be pre 1916, it would qualify as an antique safe, but in any event it is a collectible.

Unfortunately there are no records, by serial number, which tell us when any particular safe was made, so we have to take a close look at everything on the safe to narrow down a time period.   Obviously I will need much better photos of your safe to do this and/or to evaluate the safe.

Everything appears original on the safe, but I'll need all of the requested photos below.

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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