Safes & Security Containers/1920's wall safe


Round Wall Safe
Round Wall Safe  

Round Wall Safe-dial
Round Wall Safe-dial  
We have this safe built in the back of our fireplace.  The home was built in 1922, but we are not sure whether it was installed then, or at some time later.

Can you help with a manufacturer, or any input?  We would love to get it open, so far our attempts at manipulation have not yielded anything.


I don't believe the safe is as old as you think it is.   There were several companies making very similar safes during the 1940's through the late 1950's.   I've looked through my archives and yours is "most" similar to a "Knox Wall Safe Company" safe.   These safes were made in Los Angeles, CA.

This door should have 2 wheels and a drive wheel.   The dialing sequence should be:

Three times right to your first number,
two times left to your second number,
one time right until the dial stops - door should be open - pull towards you.   The door should be "hinged", but until you have opened it for the first time and verified this, make sure you are prepared for it to "fall out".

Note:  Left is counter clockwise, Right is clockwise.    Do NOT count the revolutions of the dial, count the individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.   For instance if your first number is 50, you would turn the dial clockwise (right), stopping the third time the number 50 arrives at the 12 o'clock index mark.

If you try every other number, this would result in about 2500 possible combinations to test, and probably be close enough to get it to open.

If you still can't get it to open, then it may be time to call a local safe company to have their safe tech check it out and/or open it.

Note:   The instructions I've provided are based on the container that I believe it to be.   Most of the similar manufacturers had their name embossed or engraved on the dials, while Knox did also, I've seen some of their products without their name.

Hope this helps, if you have any more questions let me know.  

Safes & Security Containers

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

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, including western Nevada

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]