You are here:

Locksmithing/general Diebold safe questions


Diebold safe
Diebold safe  
Hi Andy,
I recently acquired a very large and heavy Diebold safe in a "if you can haul it you can have it" situation.  It was a challenge but haul it, my friends and I did.  We would love to get it on a scale.  Every 5 ton device we have used to move it can barely handle the weight.
Of course we're nosey and want to see what's inside but we really want to restore it and are looking for photos.  And any history we can learn of the safe.  
I have been searching and have not found anything like this one.  It has square not rounded corners and we would like to know what the original color would have been.  It needs some work as it's been sitting outside for a very long time and some of the metal has rusted through.  
It is 63.25 h x 53.25 w x 32.5 d.  It has the Diebold Safe and Lock Co, Patented May 23, 1871, Canton, Oh on the dial.  I've read enough and understand this is a patent date for the locking mechanism not a manufacturing date.  There is another number on the handles as well which I will not disclose until I know what they are.
Any info about this type safe would be appreciated.  Photos in particular as we want to restore it.
Thanks so much,


I can guarantee you that this safe is NOT 5 tons, while it would weigh in around 3500 lbs, UNLESS it has a bankers or Jewelers interior, I doubt that it would weigh more than this.

The "rounded corners" refers to the DOORs, NOT the body of the safe.  Diebold produced safes with the notable "round corner doors" from 1870 until the 1920's, so this gives you a 50+ year period that your safe could have been made during.

As far as the "individual history" of your safe, if you didn't receive any history with it, then YOU will have to track it down through previous owners - there is no data base or records of any owners available.
The best that I could provide would be a simple, basic history of the manufacturer.

As far as the "original color", Diebold would supply safes in almost any color, though Black was by far the main color, with brown, white, silver and an Olive Green as close seconds.

I do have photos of similar other safes which would represent possible paint schemes which yours may have had.   First I would recommend carefully stripping the paint from your safe - one layer at a time, to see if you can reveal what the original paint job looked like.   If you are careful, you maybe surprised at how much might remain.

If you want photos, you will have to send me a request at:   and specify what you are looking for.   by the time I receive the request I'm not going to remember this email.

What other questions to you have at this time???


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

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)

©2017 All rights reserved.