Safes & Security Containers/Vintage Hibbard-Rodman-Ely safe


Hibbard rodman ely safe
Hibbard rodman ely saf  

Patent informaton
Patent informaton  
I am wondering if you could give me any information about this safe that I have.  It says its a NO: 1079 size 5.  Also multiple patent numbers on label on bottom lower corner.  I'd also like to know if I could obtain a value for this safe.  I can send any pictures you may need.  Thank you for your expertise and time.  Josh


First note - the word "Vintage" applies to the year of a grape harvest, or a wine bottling, not your safe - which is either "old" or "antique", not vintage.

Basic history -  HIBBARD-RODMAN-ELY SAFE COMPANY   (1899-1903), New York, NY
  November 29, 1899, The Hibbard-Rodman-Ely safe Company, was formed to manufacture safes made of manganese steel, which is claimed to be especially adapted to the making of fire and dynamite proof safes.  The offices will be at 253 Broadway, New York.  Alexander C. Humphreys – President, W.J. Taylor first vice-President, Henry D. Hibbard second vice-President, and Walter Gaston Secretary-Treasurer.  The Directors are John Fritz, Albert C. Humphreys, W.J. Taylor, R.E. Jennings, Sidney Dillon Ripley, George W. Young, Henry D. Hibbard, Capt. Samuel Rodman, and Sumner N. Ely.  The factory will be at High Bridge, NJ.
  The name of the company was changed to the Manganese Steel Safe Company around 1903, though it appears that the original name may have been kept in use for a period of time afterwards.
Mr. Taylor was also the patent holder for making Hadfield's manganese steel at the end of the 1800's.   The company that made this steel was Taylor Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) of High Bridge, NJ, so not only was Taylor the president of Hibbard-Rodman-Ely, he also was probably owner of the company making the steel.   Chances are the name change from Hibbard-Rodman-Ely to the Manganese Steel Safe Company were purely for advertising purposes (courtesy of Doug McQueen).

I would be more than happy to look at your 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 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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