York House Safe - How Old Is It?

I have a working safe from the York Lock & Safe Company of York, PA. I'd
like to know the age of this piece if someone here can give an educated
It's on four wheels, about 3 inch diameter, and the inside measures 14
inches wide, 18 high, and 13 deep. Thick steel makes the outside 22.5 inches
wide, 27 high (32 including wheels) and 22 deep.
It has some pin-striping around the inside of the door and mechanism, with
the words "House Safe"; "York Safe & Lock Co."; "York, Pa", and "S.F.
Prentzel, Agt."; "153 N. 4th St. Phila." hand lettered on the door as well.
It has a working four-digit combination using a brass spinner with 100
markings by tens and a "tee" handle for opening the door latches.
The floor is carpeted and there are wooden shelves inside, and one shelf
holds a small keyed lock-box (5 x 5 x 10 deep).
I could post a link to pictures if that would help someone place the age.
The safe came with my house in upper Bucks County, PA. I do not know the
history, though I was given the correct combination by the previous owner.
There are no markings on the back, and I cannot find any other markings to
indicate date of manufacture. I would appreciate any input from this group.
Any chance this unit qualifies as "fireproof"? I'm still keeping birth
certificates in the freezer based on something I once read. I'd rather use
the safe for valuables if it were truly a "safe" place to keep them.
Thank you.
Rob Smith
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Reply to
Rob Smith
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by the new standards? no
it might slow the uneducated down as far as getting it open..but..
on the handle? OR the center of the dial-whats it say there? if anything... sometimes there is a patent date, so you would know that its LATER than..whatever the patent says.
Reply to
Shiva, you were right about the center of the dial. It has more information stamped on it, very tiny. It says: "Yale Lock M'F'G Co. - Stamford, Conn." around the perimeter. The middle is filled with the following lines: "PAT'D July 25, 1871 Sept. 2, 1873 July 28, 1874 Sept. 7, 1880 Nov. 2, 1880 Nov. 2, 1880"
I wonder why the last date is repeated? I looked very closely to see a difference, but there was none.
Does anybody know what the next date would be? Perhaps someone has seen a similar list of dates and knows the next one? That way, I could get a realistic range.
As for the fire-safety, Shiva, your comment about the freezer keeping out the uneducated was quite funny. I had a good laugh. Seriously, though... how effective is an older safe like this one at safe-keeping documents from fire?
Reply to
Rob Smith
2 patents issued that day..
range could be into the 20's..
its NOT.. it has mass, but given the right fire, it becomes an oven and destroys worse. --Shiva--
Reply to
Shiva, given the frequency of those patent dates between 1871 and 1880, while it COULD be into the twenties, I'm hoping it was earlier (1881?). I don't know how likely it is that someone would have a similar list of dates with one or two more in the list, but I'll hope to see some response.
I suppose that if I want to use this safe as well as look at it (it is a decoration at this point) I'll have to put a fire-proof box inside. Would you say that placing a new technology fire-safe box inside this old safe is in any way WORSE than just having the fire-safe box under the bed (for documents, not valuables in a monetary sense)?
Finally, if the safe is working, and has always been working, should I worry that it will suddenly stop working, based on some of the threads I've reviewed in this forum?
Thanks for your input.
Rob Smith
Reply to
Rob Smith
if its big enough to accept a 'fire rated' container, for PAPERS, go for it..its harder to have someone walk off with one in a big safe, than 'under the bed'... a 'computer media safe' is a SPECIAL item, and VERY pricey. has far different requirements as far as temp/humidity/ than paper containers. the price difference is MANY times between the 2.
take a coin out and flip it.. heads it will fail in a week, tails it wont.. it may be in GREAT shape.. it may be on its last legs, we cannot tell you 'over the 'net'. that is why i suggested you find someone to look at it, check and lube as necessary.. they may see it and say OH THIS IS REALLY GOOD.. or they may say, whoever had this before did 'this' to it, and that has cause a potential 'something' to happen to it.. Can we tell you how to lube? yes, but we wont, CAUSE as you disassemble, you would not know, this piece was installed backwards, or this piece is really worn..or WHERE IS the piece that should be 'right here'?
I had a fairly new 'gun safe' fail on a man.. after taking it apart, i asked how long it had been giving him troubles?? OH, it had been getting hard to open for 3 months, he said, ..but he kept using it..
it is FAR cheaper to get something fixed that is OPEN, than drill it open. and if you intend to use this, then you need some 'in person' assistance.
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