Locksmithing/Grandmas Mosler safe


Mosler safe
Mosler safe  
Terry, my grandmother recently passed and while cleaning out her place my uncle asked me if I would like to take her old mosler safe. I would like to keep it as a memento rather than a functional safe because I'm sure just by looking at it it won't meet any safety standards. It appears to be a wall safe that was removed because there are mounting brackets on the side. I have been trying to determine the approximate age of the safe so I can place where my grandparents were at in life when they bought it to add some historical context to it. After researching on the internet I'm guessing it is sometime around the 1930s but most of the information I found was from your articles so I decided to write you and see if you can give me a better estimate.  The safe is about 1ft by 1ft and 6 inches deep. It has a shelf inside that has broken but can't be removed because it is to large for the door opening.  The front says mosler safe co. New York. The serial number is below the dial and is 334688. I have the combo but there are no tags or identifying marks inside the safe  I greatly appreciate any info you can give me as I cherish this piece of history from my grandmother.

Hi Brian,

Yes, this was one of Mosler's hinged, non-lug, round door, chests.    It was designed to be used as a wall safe or inside of another safe.   Based on the serial number it would be from the early 1930's (1931-33).

While this container DOES meet MINIMUM burglary standards, it is NOT a fire resistive container, however I would not recommend using it for overnight storage of any cash, jewelry or valuable documents.
Even though it does meet the minimum requirements because the lock and other parts are not readily available, it is considered obsolete.

Obviously this wouldn't be considered antique as it is not over 100 years old, but it is collectible due to its size.

During the early 1900's (1900-1950's) Mosler acquired a number of different safe companies, possibly to increase the diversity of their product, more than likely to simply eliminate some of the competition.   In some of these cases they would utilize the existing facilities until they either completely closed out that particular line, or rolled it in to their main factory in Hamilton, OH. so your safe may have been made in New York.

Mosler also used a number of different locks in their round door safes, so without seeing what you actually have, I wouldn't hazard a guess as to what is installed.

I think that its great that you have chosen to save this piece of history to be passed along to future generations.

Hope this helps,


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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 AllExperts.com

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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