Locksmithing/Date of Cary Safe


Cary Safe5
Cary Safe5  

Cary Safe4
Cary Safe4  
I stumbled upon an old double door Cary Safe. I would like to know approximately when the safe was manufactured and anything else about this particular model that might be of interest.  The serial number on the ball of the handle is 61108. The serial number on the plate over the tumbler mechanism is 70019.  The individual's name on the safe lived from 1887-1948. Extrapolating from the manufacture dates of some of your other posts, I think the safe was manufactured around 1899-1900. This would mean that the individual was 13 when the safe was manufactured...which seems odd.

Hi Bob,

The serial number on the ball of the handle is the safe serial number, the serial number on the lock curb (silver disc) is the lock serial number.     Early on, these two numbers may have been the same, but eventually they were different - as is the case here.

The lock on this safe is a Cary C-5, three wheel, straight tail piece type lock.

You are correct about the date.   My records put the date of manufacture at 1899.   I'll usually bracket that because I'm always updating my records as I get new info and there are no records available from the manufacturer, so a good reference period would be 1898-1900.

Don't assume that the man listed on the safe was the original owner.    I've seen safes which have been painted over with new owners names, with up to three names buried under the paint.    He could have purchased the safe at a much later date, or the name and info that you looked up may have come from a different individual with the same or a similar name.    Remember that just because the info is on the internet somewhere, does NOT mean that it is exact or correct for the query you have posed.

I'm not sure what other info that you would be looking for or interested in.    As there are no factory records available, there is no way to confirm or deny that this individual was indeed the first owner of the safe.

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

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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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