Locksmithing/Cramer Bros. Safe


I recently aquired a building built in early 1920's with a closet size Cramer Bros. vault/safe.  It is open and tumbler spins freely (Yale mechanism) but lever is in lock position & I don't have combo, can a locksmith make this operable or do they need the original combo?  I can provide pics of front and back of door.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Basic History:
J.W. Cramer traveled from West Virginia to Kansas City, MO in 1886 to establish the Cramer Bros. Safe Company, after the devastating 1871 Chicago Fire, to provide both Burglary & Fire resistive safes.   In 1940 the "safe division" was sold to Mosler Safe Company, and the newly named Cramer Inc. staked its future on product innovation - chairs and office equipment designed to support the posture and comfort of every seated worker.

In answer to your question, yes the combination can be either recovered or reset, as long as the safe is open.   Though I NEVER recommend using locksmiths for safe work.   They generally do not have the training, knowledge or tools to work on safes.   I would recommend that you contact a local SAFE company to have their safe technician recover or reset the combination, service the safe and ensure its operation for you.

I would also recommend that you do not plan on using this container for business purposes, or for overnight storage of any cash, jewelry or valuable documents, as it does not meet any current standards for fire or burglary resistance.

If you have any further questions, I would be happy to answer them for you.


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 42 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. 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 Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes".

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA)

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

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 Expert 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 and Western Nevada)

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