Locksmithing/Antique wall safe


Hi Dan,

I recently moved into a apartment & have found a wall safe with this written on the dial "The Lowrie S. & L. MFG. Co Chicago". It also has these numbers written on the safe door as well "40415". In addition it's a 0 to 99 dial on it. I have been reading other post where people have similar issues, and can't open their safe. I want to try to crack it, but I'm not sure what numbers to start with to make a number sheet I was curious to how you would begin to try to decode it? Any other info that you could spare would be much appreciated as well.

-David M.

The number is most likely a serial number. Since Lowrie is long out of business it won't do you any good. Although I would give 40-4-15 a shot if it was written, not stamped on the door.

The Lowrie is unusual in that the locking bolts are spring loaded. They are meant to pull the bolts back when the proper combination is dialed.

Your combination would be 3 x right to the first number, 2 times left to the second number and 1 time right to the last number. At this point the bolts would automatically retract and you would pull the door open.

Each number could be from 0 to 99 so you have 1 million theoretical combinations.

With the built in slop from manufacturing it would be closer to 40 x 40 x 40= 64,00 possible combinations.

You would have to have practiced combination lock manipulation for some time to dial open a Lowrie. I would give it 45 minutes, and if I didn't get any indications would drill a 1/8" hole in it and scope the lock.

Don't waste any money on a stethoscope. :)

If you want a recommendation for someone competent to open it, let me know what major city you are near.

Sorry I don't have better news.

Dan Terrigno
American Safe & Vault Service
Cleveland, OH  


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Dan Terrigno


I can answer questions about commercial locks, card access systems, locksmithing except for cars, safes & safe opening, video surveillance and master key systems


35 years as a locksmith, security system designer and installer, trouble shooting and repair of all manner of security related equipment

Associated Locksmiths of America, Safe & Vault Technicians Association

Attended Miami University, Kent State University, continuing education through the Associated Locksmiths of American

Awards and Honors
Certified Master Locksmith. Certified ALOA instructor.

Past/Present Clients
Numerous Fortune 500 companies, DOD, and other governmental agencies

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