Safes & Security Containers/Value of a Kurtzon Safe


1915 Patten Tag
1915 Patten Tag  
Hello,I have had a large wall safe in my garage for about 40 years.I have used the safe for storing our farm tools. I have no real use for the safe now.I can have it removed, but wanted to make sure before I do, if the safe has any value. The safe was used in a Fur Sore. It has three pull out racks, that the furs were hung on.The safe measures 6 ft. long by 6ft 6in by 2 ft 8 in deep. I can mail  photos to your E-Mail address. I have enclosed a photo of the tag on the pull-out rack. Thank you in advance for your time and effort to answer my question. Joseph


You do NOT have a "Kurtzon Safe", what you have is safe with a "Kurtzon" hanging rack, which as you described was used by sellers of Fur type garments to hang the coats from.

Side note - History:
Morris Kurtzon, co-founder of Garden City Plating and Manufacturing, was a leader in the new European immigrant community of Chicago. In 1919. he single-handedly raised sufficient money to open a new hospital on the South Side of Chicago, called Mount Sinai Hospital, just a block away from his factory.

Kurtzon, from his background in builder's hardware, saw the need for specially fabricated equipment for the demanding hospital environment. Stainless steel was just becoming more important in hospitals, and Mount Sinai may have been one of the first hospitals to experiment with stainless steel lighting in its critical care spaces.

Out of this creative environment came the design of what is today known as the Wet-Lock Series, the industry lighting standard for demanding interior environments.

I've seen, disassembled, moved and reassembled a number of these safes, manufactured by several different companies, but basically all were the same design, which we termed a "skeleton" type safe.    Basically these used angle iron and plate steel to build fairly large safes, which were used for storage of larger items like fur coats.  In the better quality safes, the interior of the safe was also fitted out with a tongue & groove cedar planking to help protect the garments from moths and similar garment pests.

Depending on the size of the safe, the container would be fitted with from two to four of the Kurtzon type racks for storage.

I would be more than happy to look at your safe to answer any questions you might have about it.

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.   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:

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 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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