Locksmithing/opening a old safe

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Question
Victor safe
Victor safe  
QUESTION: I have a old safe that belonged to my grandfather, but we have no combination.  It says it is a Victor safe and has my grandfathers name at the top and 1904. It has a dial on the front and is on wheels. It weights about 800 lbs!!! We are trying to clean out a storage unit and would really like to see if there is anything in the safe and how to dispose of the safe.  I would really appreciate any help you could give me.
Thanks so much for your time.
Carol

ANSWER: Hi Carol,

If you don't have a combination then you basically have two options to open it.   You can try all of the 1,000,000 possible combinations until it opens, or you can have a safe technician from a local safe company open it for you.

the dialing sequence for the lock I would expect to be on this container, would be:

4 times left to the first number,
3 times right to the second number,
2 times left to the third number,
1 time right until the dial stops.

Note:   left is counter clockwise, right is clockwise.   DO NOT count the revolutions of the dial count the individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.

If it still won't open, you may need a safe technician.   If you don't have a local safe company then let me know where you are located (zipcode) and I'll see who I might know in your area.

As far as disposing of the safe - as this company went out of business in 1920 (they were acquired by the Safe Cabinet Company and the name changed to Victor Equipment Company, after their move to Mariotta, OH. so depending on the age, it may be an antique, and at minimum it would be collectible.
As for selling it, you would have to advertise, advertise, adverstise.

Hope this helps,


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

QUESTION: Thanks for getting back to me. We live in Iowa and our zip code is 52101, but the safe is in a storage unit in Iowa City and that zip code is 52241. If you would know of someone to help us open it that would be great!

Answer
Carol,

The 1904 date on the safe, indicates an award presentation for a display during the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis.   This award was displayed on safes over the next 10 or so years, for advertising purposes.

Unfortunately I don't know of anyone closer that I would recommend, the following two are around 165 miles away.   You can contact them to see if they know of anyone closer to you, or if they can help you.    If you can take the safe to them, it will save you quite a bit of $$$'s for travel charges.

Seller's Lock & Safe
507-433-2787          Jeffery Sellers
704 19th St SW
Austin, MN  55912

Chuck's Lock & Safe Service
608 254 2792          Chuck Hegel
3851 8th ave
Wisconsin Dells, WI  53965

The next closest companies that I would recommend would be in Chicago or St. Louis.

Sorry I can't be of more help.

Sorry I don't have any

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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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