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Locksmithing/Victor Treasure Chest from 1940's


I have a Victor Treasure Chest from the 1940's that has a key stuck in the lock.  Can't turn the key at all.  The duplicate key appears flat and long which is also broken.  I googled Victor Treasure Chest and found an ad from 1947 that says the locks are equipped with a paracentric key lock.

The door is open, but I can't get the key out of the lock.  I unscrewed the inside plate to the lid to access the lock, but can't remove this either because of the stuck (broken?) key.  Maybe I should not have done this because the inside is lined with asbestos.
Is there anyway to repair or replace the lock with the broken key inside the lock?

Hi Sylvia,

In the early days of computers there was a term that is probably as accurate to day as it was then, called "GIGO", meaning "Garbage IN, Garbage OUT".    Internet info is ONLY as good as its source.

While you have a "Victor Chest", they are NOT treasure chests.   I know which advertising card you are referring to, and this was simply a "Slogan" and NOT an actual description of the container or its capabilities.    The ad also lists the containers as having "Handy Fire & Theft Protection".    Anything which has handles and is light enough to be carried away has "ZERO" theft protection!!!

Also if your container uses a "FLAT" type key, then it isn't a "Paracentric" key.    Look at your house key, which has groves running down the length - that is a Paracentric key.   Your container has a flat type key & lock.

Now back to the original question concerning the lock and key problem.   Yes the lock can most likely be repaired, however the lock will have to be removed to be repaired.    In order to remove the lock, you may have to break the key off flush with the nose of the lock, HOWEVER as mechanical problems generally require hands on diagnostics, without having the container in hand to examine - breaking the key off would be my last resort.

My recommendation would be to take the container to a local safe company to have them repair the lock.   They will be able to make a determination on what the actual problem is, and/or necessary solutions.   They can also service the lock to ensure that your new keys work correctly.

I don't recommend this as a DIY project as parts are not going to be available and any damage you cause to the lock may be unrepairable.    Also if you have to break the key off flush with the nose of the lock to remove it, then you will still have to take it to a locksmith shop or safe company to have keys made for the lock.     

Note:   Unfortunately, many of the newer locksmiths and/or lock companies simply don't do this kind of work any more.   You will need a company that has been in business for many years, that has a brick and mortar type store, AND has experience.

As long as the container door is open, the unit can be repaired, if it gets locked up, the costs to open and repair it could be more than the unit is worth.

Sorry the news isn't better, but at least you have some options and a positive goal in sight.   If you don't have a qualified, trained locksmith or safe company in your area, give me your zip code and I'll see who I might know and/or recommend nearby.

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

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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