Locksmithing/Vault Door


outside vault
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We just pulled out an old Vault door from a home we are about to demo.  Can you tell me a bit about it?  I see the Hermann Safe Co San Francisco.  The York Safe & Lock Co is on the inside and it has the marking of the 1915 Highest Honors at Panama Exposition.  Thank you for your time!

Hi Sandy,

I'm not sure what info you are looking for.

The manufacturer of the safe was the York Safe & Lock Company, York, PA.   This company was in business until the death of their owner C. Forry Laucks in 1942.   Due to several large Navy contracts (WWII), the Navy stepped in and took over the company using the Blaw-Knox corp. as managers.   In 1945 ownership of the York Safe & Lock Company was acquired by Diebold, and the name continued until it was discontinued in 1959.
Chances are this door was made sometime between 1916 and 1930.

The selling agent was the Hermann Safe Company, San Francisco, CA.

As for the "1915 Highest Honors" - the safe was NOT given the highest honors, the York Safe & Lock Company was given this award for their DISPLAY at the Panama Exposition.    Having the award exhibited on every safe they made for the next 20 years was simply their way of "thumbing their nose" at other safe companies - whether they were there or not.

The door appears to be just a standard plate steel door.   Similar door were made by various other manufacturers as well.    It also appears to be missing some of the bolt work and/or locking mechanism though I can't see enough in the photos to commend further.

I'm not sure what other info I can provide at this time.   If you have any specific questions I would be happy to look at them.  


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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

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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