Safes & Security Containers/Morris Ireland Safe Co inquiry...


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Safe Front  

Safe Interior
Safe Interior  

Recently on one of my construction sites, we discovered an old Morris Ireland Safe Co safe sitting in the back of a closet... The house was built in the 1940's and apparently the safe has been in the house since then, since no one has wanted to try to move it. Attached is an image of the front, I have more of the inside of the door and interior.

I have yet to move the unit or try to fins a serial number, but could do so if it would help... Additionally I do not know the exact dimensions.

Ultimately my questions is - Is this safe worth anything, or is it just a large (very heavy) paperweight? The owner of the property that we are working on has offered it to us, or we will just leave it in the house for the next owner.

Any input on it would be helpful.



This "Morris-Ireland" was NOT a safe manufacturer, it was simply a sales company.

There were two “Morris” “Ireland” safe companies.  The first company, the “Morris & Ireland Safe Company" was in business from about 1870 to 1890.  In 1890 Mr. Ireland retired and Mr. Morris continued the business under the name “E.C. Morris and Company”.  In 1893 the E.C. Morris Safe Company was organized with $250,000 in capital, and a factory was erected at Readville, MA, with Mr. Morris as the Treasure and General manager.  In September of 1896, the E.C. Morris Safe Co., began to reduce its work force, shutting its doors in December 1896.  Mr. Morris disappeared in January of 1897 after several “warrants” were issued for his arrest for fraud and embezzlement.
The second company, the “Morris-Ireland Safe Company” was formed around 1904, by William Andrew Luce.  I’m suspecting, after my research, that these two companies were not related in any fashion.  The first was a manufacture; the second appears to be a distributor.  Mr. Luce may have just capitalized on the fact that Mr. Morris had disappeared and because of the warrants for his arrest probably wouldn’t be filing any lawsuits over the use of the name!  I don’t have a fixed time line for the second company but they were in business from at least 1904 through 1924.  
Mr. Luce was a bit of a “philanderer” and had several scandals that eventually led to his leaving Boston.
An easy way to discern between the two companies is the first used the “&” in the name the second used the “-“ in the name.

I would be more than happy to look at your safe to determine what you actually have, but will need to see better photos of the safe.   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 10mb 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.   Also, please don’t use on line 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:

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.

Bottom line, it has value, how much will depend on what you have and its condition.  

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 44 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. NOTE: I also answer safe related questions in the Locksmith and Antique Safe Categories sections.


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 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 Experts 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

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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, including western Nevada

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