You are here:

Locksmithing/all the emails you are getting

Advertisement


Question
Hi Andy, I'm the one responsible for all of the emails you have gotten from JOHNS with two numbers after them.  They are 8th grade students.  I brought in my very old Victor safe.  They have been researching the history of the company and how the safe works.  I have a partial combnation which the previous owner is not sure if the middle number is correct.  I have been in procession of the safe ever since I bout my house in 2002.  The owners could not move it and gave it to me for 40 buck.  I have no clue what is inside and the previous owner believes it is empty.  They were an older couple and have since passed away.  I contacted you in 2006 and never followed up with the picture you requested because life got in the way.  I'm sorry if the emails from my students are jamming you up. And understand if you don't have time to reply to them.  I just wanted you to give you a heads up..

Answer
Hi John,

No Problem, I'm glad they are so enthusiastic.

Basic History:

Victor Safe & Lock Company, Cincinnati, OH
1885 to 1920

They were acquired by The Safe Cabinet Company in 1920, though manufacturing continued at the original factory until 1926 when The Safe Cabinet Company and its subsidiary companies was acquired by Rand-Kardex (Remington-Rand), and moved to the Marietta, Oh factory location.

Based on the serial number of your safe, it would have been built around the 1910 to 1915 time frame, so it is considered antique (over 100 years old).

In the previous postings I provided the dialing sequences and some thoughts on setting up a spread sheet of test combinations.   If you have a possible number, you can simply insert it into that portion of the spreadsheet to come up with various test combinations - though you are still looking at around 10,000 combinations.   Skipping every other number would drop that number down to around 2500 possible combinations.

I also send a web page url for you to check out, which gives some basic understanding of lock operation - though this is NOT the lock installed on your safe, it still gives you a very basic understanding of the lock operation.

I'm glad to see the kids interested in this.    This is basically how I got interested and started in the industry.   I've been active now for around 43 years.    It's more of a hobby that I get paid to do.

Locksmithing

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


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)

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.