Locksmithing/Victor Safe

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Question
I currently have a old Victor safe, on the front it says "Biggest Award Grand Prize" St  Louis 1904. The handle reads: "Sargent & Greenleaf Inc." "Rochester N.Y., the center of the dial has a letter "S" and the letter "G" intertwined. This safe has4 metal wheels and is approximately 3 feet off the ground, 2feet wide, and, 2 feet in depth.
Is the safe worth having it drilled or is it  worth more not drilled? If not, is there another way of opening without  this process? Also, what does it cost to have drilled if that is the way to go?
Lynn

Answer
Hi Lynn,

Actually the decal states "Highest Award - Grand Prize".   
1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, Participant Dept. D, group 41, #0055.   Won a grand prize for their EXHIBIT, and NOT any individual safe.   Dates of the Exposition were April 30th, 1904 until December 1st, 1904.
Safes bearing this decal were built and sold from 1905 through about 1915.   This decal was placed on pretty much everything that Victor Safe & Lock Company sold for "ADVERTISING" purposes.

Victor Safe and Lock Company did not use S&G dials or locks, so if this has been replaced, there is a chance that this safe may have been drilled previously.

Opening and repairing of this container should run between $300 to $500 plus any parts, though I don't believe that I would recommend anyone that couldn't open it without inflicting further damage, including replacing parts which shouldn't be on this container.

There is the possibility that the lock inside the safe is still original and that only the dial has been changed out.

As far as your questions concerning "whether or not it is worth having the safe opened", you have to determine this.   What is worthwhile to me (or anyone else), may not be worthwhile to you.    The best that I can offer is to evaluate the container AFTER it has been opened and repaired, then you can determine whether or not it was worth your time (and/or money).

As far as "MY" opinion goes, I would always recommend opening and saving every safe, but that's just me.   If you are planning on selling the safe, then it needs to be open and operational.    If you are planning on using it, then I would counsel against using it to store cash, jewelry or any valuable documents - get a better, newer safe for these purposes.   If you are planning on simply using it as a decoration, display item or conversation piece, I think that it has a lot of potential.

If you don't have a local safe company (not a locksmith) in your area, I'll need to know where you are located (zipcode) so that I can recommend some companies in your area.

Hope this helps.  If you need it evaluated AFTER it has been opened, I can do this for you as well.

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

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.

Experience

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".

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

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
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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