You are here:

Locksmithing/HHM Safe Co Key Found


Hi Andy,

Years ago in Rochester, NY (late 1990s) I found a key on the ground. It was nearby my house so I assumed it belonged to a family member. Well, over 15 years later and no one has claimed it.

It's a silver colored key, flat, that says "H.H.M. Safe Co." on one side and then "3683" on the other. The teeth of the key look like a city skyline - flattened but uneven rectangles - and do not look like a modern key. The key itself is thin and flat.

Some preliminary research has made me pretty sure that it is a Herring-Hall-Marvin Safe Company key - which means it is quite old.

Is there anything else you can tell me about it? Does it belong to a safety deposit box? Is it worth anything?

Thanks very much,



You would have to discuss its value with a key collector, but chances are the answer is no.   These keys were made by the hundreds of thousands, and the majority of them are still around.

Yes, it would be called a safe deposit lock key - but that really isn't the correct descriptive term.   The reason being that these locks were used for hundreds of purposes besides just safe deposit boxes.   It could have gone to a small locker inside of a regular safe, night depository locks, portable chests, etc. etc. etc.

The number on the key could just as easily be a serial number, as it could the number of a safe deposit box.

Overall, I think that some of these keys were much more ornamental than current, similar keys.

Chances are you will never find where it came from, or would go to - so my recommendation would be to "re-purpose" it!

If you have someone you really like - mother, father, daughter, girlfriend, wife, etc. etc., with a little thoughtful jewelry work, it could easily become the key to your heart - something that they would hold on to for ever.

If not, the key and about $5 WILL buy you a cup of coffee at Starbucks!   LOL

good luck with it.


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.