Locksmithing/Diebold Safe


safe photo
safe photo  

safe photo
safe photo  
Hi Terry
I acquired a bank building that had multiple vaults and a Diebold safe located inside one of the vaults.  We sold the bank building but kept the safe.  I have no idea what to do with it or what it's worth but it's been in the bank for 100 years.  I have some photos. Two are attached but i have more.

I'd like to find out how I should go about finding a buyer/someone who would appreciate it and perhaps keep it in their collection.

The door is open and, although i have the combos for the vault doors, I"m unable to find the combo for the safe.  I know it was in use up until about 2005.

Hi Tom,

A book that I would recommend getting to go along with your safe is "American Genius - Nineteenth Century Bank Locks and Time Locks", by David & John Erroll.   They are the curators of the John Mossman lock collection in New York.
The collection is located on the second floor of the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, 20 W. 44th Street, in New York City, NY.

yes that would be the same John Mossman listed on the service receipt you have for the time lock on your safe.

As long as the safe is open, it is a fairly simple task for a trained safe technician to recover or reset the combination.   They should also be able to ensure that your safe is operational.

If you would like it evaluated, I would be more than happy to check it out for you, but will need much better photos.

As for selling it - sorry no magic here - you have to find a buyer, just like you would for any other object you would like to sell.    Advertise, advertise, advertise.   Some options that work would be eBay, Craigs List, etc.  You can also try going through antique dealers or an auction house, though these last two generally charge a commission percentage.    Last month a nice MacNeale & Urban bankers safe sold for slightly over $4700, it probably would have done better but no restoration work was done to it.   As far as finding someone who will appreciate it, I suppose if they are willing to spend that type of money, they WILL appreciate it.   At this point I'm not sure I would expect your safe to go for that amount for a number of reasons, I doubt it is going to be as ornate as that particular M&U,  I haven't even examined the safe yet, and most importantly - ALL auctions are fickle!   It WILL depend on how well publicized the auction is, how much interest your safe gets and the number of potential buyers.   If their interest only goes to the $1500 level, or if there are several other similar safes available that particular day, then actual value may be much lower.

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)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland safes from the 1860'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.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. 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

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association

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 - 2014 - 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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