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Locksmithing/Do all COLE STEEL cabinets have the metal badge?


30-Drawer Industrial Cabinet
30-Drawer Industrial C  
QUESTION: I have a 30-drawer cabinet which I believe is a COLE STEEL cabinet but it does not have the metal badge. Is it possible that there is a COLE STEEL cabinet without the badge? I got this one and another with the COLE STEEEL badge at the same time from the same previous owner. Both look like they are made with the same metal, same quality. The other cabinet bears the COLE STEEL metal hedge.

I have seen other COLE STEEL 30-drawer cabinets that look identical.

ANSWER: Hi Rose,

Generally manufacturers always put their name on most equipment that they make, though they don't always use a "metal badge".    Many times it is little more than a decal.

Problem with metal equipment like this, is that there were quite a number of companies making metal office equipment, which may be VERY similar to equipment from other companies.  Metal office equipment has been made from the early 1900's through the 1980's.    It was a very big business for quite a number of years as it was very durable.   The military and US Government was possibly one of the biggest buyers of this type of equipment, and they required that bid purchases were ALWAYS  provided by at least THREE manufacturers.    If they were all bidding on the same project, then chances are the requested equipment would also be very similar so that it would be an apples and apples type of decision for the buyers.    You wouldn't compare wooden office equipment to metal office equipment (for instance) and expect the same consideration.

Chances are, if you purchased two very similar cabinets from the same seller, at the same time, it would stand to reason that he possibly also purchased them at the same time from the same distributor, so the chances of them being from the same manufacturer is fairly likely.

As I don't have both cabinets in front of me to do a complete comparison, I have to rely on your description that they appear to be the same.

Hope this helps,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

30-Drawer Industrial Cabinet Pull
30-Drawer Industrial C  
QUESTION: Hello Again,

After sending my message I checked my photos a bit closer and saw the name Challenger on one of the drawer pulls. Can you tell me how a 1950s Challenger cabinet would compare to a Cole Steel cabinet? Thank you for your quick responses.


Hi Rose,

sorry but my specialty is safes, vaults and security containers, not office equipment.

As these cabinets are not remotely related to any equipment that I work on, I can't compare one manufacturer to another.

As far as comparing the two individual cabinets, I would have to have them in front of me, so that I could do a reasonable comparison - types of metal, construction methods, etc. etc. etc.

Not sure why you want this much info on these cabinets as they are not considered collectible and are definitely not antique.

I did do a little research and could not find a manufacturer named Challenger - making metal office equipment.

This may have been a product logo like the Ford "MUSTANG", or it could have been a name of the drawer pull maker.

sorry, not enough info for me to get more info on, and I don't have the containers available to look at.



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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

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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