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Locksmithing/original key for Edwards & Holman safe


door of safe with keyway
door of safe with keyw  

functioning steel key
functioning steel key  
About 20 years ago I found and purchased this ca. 1849 Edwards & Holman key operated safe in Portland, OR.  It is in reasonable condition and needs minor restoration.  I have information that will guide repairs in all matters, except the key.  The safe has an odd shaped entry keyway that is close to 3/16 inch wide and 7/8 inch tall.  I have a working skeleton of a key made in the 1950's, but would really like to reproduce the key in the materials and format (one piece, or folding, plain, decorated, multimetal) of an original key. The manner in which the lock works is unusual in my experience:  Note, the large knob is fixed and plays no role in locking the safe.  The small cylindrical brass knob does all of the work: with the locking knob rotated CCW to starting position in the vertical axis the key is inserted, bit up, into the keyway.  The knob is rotated CW whereupon the key is seized and elevated to a nonremoveable fixed position where it interacts with the levers, and, the combination being met, the locking knob is allowed to rotate further to pull back the locking bolts.  Question: Have you ever seen an original E&H key for this style lock?  Could you provide information or photos of a key..?  Thanks Very Much!

Hi Eugene,

Yes, I do have a photo of an original key.    The Columbia State Historical Park in California
(  has one on display in the Park Rangers office, and they have an original key.    I've got a photo of it somewhere in my photo collection, that I'll have to try to dig out for you.

I'll need an email address for you, so that I can send it to you.    Send me a request at:

As far where do get a key blank or cut - good luck.    There are none available, which means that it would have to be hand made.


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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

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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