Locksmithing/J & J Taylor Safe

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Question
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HI - we recently purchased a J&J Taylor safe privately. We know very little about it and would like to know more! The safe is a "3 wheel", having a 4 number combination. The locking mechanism works perfectly. There is nothing inside except a lined chamber. There is some (gold leaf?) artwork/lines/flowers on the outside as decoration. The dimensions are 39" high x 28" deep x 28" wide. It weighs approximately 600 lbs. The wheels have rather elaborate scroll-work cast iron. Across the top in gold it says "The R.M.A of C.-E.O & O District". I cannot find any reference to what this means. We are in the Yukon Territory, but the previous owner came from Nova Scotia. I have no idea if this came here during the Yukon Gold Rush or not, but smaller, less elaborate similar safes are seen here.I would like to know more about its age, and where it came from. Attached is a photo - any info is helpful - looking forward to hearing from you!

Answer
Heather,

While I can give you a little basic info concerning the manufacturer, there are simply no records available that would indicated when any particular safe was made, who might have owned it or where it may have been.

Manufacturers simply do not publish any records that they have like this for obvious security and liability reasons.    If you don't have the history of ownership, then it basically starts with you.

"The R.M.A. of C. -  E.O & O District" was possibly the original owner or an owner at some time.    As far as what this stands for, I have no idea.    As this was probably a Canadian company or organization of some type.

I'll start with a little basic history about the manufacturer.

In 1855 the Brothers James and John Taylor began making safes in a small factory on Toronto's Palace Street, these were the first safes ever produced in Canada.
In 1875, John Taylor soon found the Canadian climate too much for his ailing health and returned to Europe, and with the death of younger brother James in March of 1875, the company changed hands, although retaining the name of "J. & J. Taylor".    By this time the original Palace Street factory had grown inadequate and the Toronto Safe Works, as it was known, had moved to the corner of Front and Frederick Streets, just east of the St. Lawrence Market.
The company was apparently taken over by or sold to Mosler around the beginning of the Great Depression in the late 1920's, eventually becoming "Chubb-Mosler-Taylor" in 1959, when a new factory was built in Brampton.

So with this basic information, at a minimum we know that the safe was built sometime between the 1855 to late 1920 date.    While I realize that this is about a 65 year time frame, without further information about your safe, I can't narrow it down further.

I would be more than happy to look at your safe to see if I can narrow this time frame down somewhat, however I will need more and MUCH better photos of the safe, to examine it.


In order to answer specific questions, identify, evaluate or appraise your safe, I'm going to need photos.  They should include full exterior and interior.  Detail photos should include pictures of the dial, handles, hinges, artwork, locks, bolt work, castors, cabinetry and any special details or damage.  Note:  You may have to remove the back panel on the door to gain access to the lock & bolt work – I will need these pics.
 
If you have a particular detail that you have a question about, I will need a photo of it along with your question.

I will also need to see any documentation that you have in regards to your safe.  If your safe has a unique historical perspective, you should be able to document this with letters, newspaper articles or photos, if not it is simply a story and will have no bearing on the value of your safe.

Please use as high a resolution as possible so that I can examine details of your safe.  Pictures which are low resolution, out of focus, or from a distance don’t help when we try to evaluate the container.  Note:  with higher resolution, you may only be able to send 2-4 pictures per email, depending on the size of the file, I have a 12mb limit per email.  If photos are larger than 2mb each, you may only be able to send 2 or 3 photos per email, requiring several emails.

Please don’t send me “cell phone” photos, unless they are very clear and of sufficient resolution.   Also, please don’t use online, internet photo drops as most of these also don’t allow me to easily access the photos for examination.   Send the pics directly to me, while this may be more work for you, it will make my job easier.

Please send all of the requested photos to:  andy@securitysafeusa.com

Note:  As I am in the field several days each week, covering a huge service area, I may not get back to your photos immediately, but I will respond as soon as I get an opportunity.  Due to field work, emails may tend to get backed up which means I may not answer them immediately.

Our informal evaluation is at no charge, however if you feel you need a formal evaluation or appraisal for insurance, estate sales, donations for tax write offs, or to establish it as an antique, there is an administrative fee for this service.  

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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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