See the Early Office Museum (http://www.officemuseum.com/filing_equipment_safes.htm).
Silas C. Herring exhibited fire-proof safes at the Crystal Palace in London, England, in 1851 and won an award. "We must not omit to mention here the interest universally created by the salamander safes deposited by Silas C. Herring of New York. The metal of the safe consists of the stoutest and toughest wrought bar and plate iron, the space between the inner and outer surfaces being filled with a composition, of which plaster of Paris is the principal ingredient. Several attempts have been made here to burn this safe, but after laying in the fire for forty hours, red-hot, the contents came out uninjured." (Scientific American, Aug. 16, 1851, p. 378) Ca. 1853, Silas C. Herring & Co. advertised single door safes ranging from $40 (for a 12" x 8" x 9" model) to $200 (32" x 27" x 15") and folding door safes ranging from $175 (22" x 32" x 16") to $625 (64" x 51" x 19").
Offices may have been more concerned about protecting their books and papers from fire than burglars, but there was demand for burglar-proof safes. In England, Chubb patented a burglar proof safe in 1833. In the mid-19th century in the U.S., "Lillie's safes were highly commended for this purpose, he using thick slabs of chilled cast iron, and flowing cast iron over wrought iron ribs in their construction. It was found after a time, however, that the burglars succeeded in drilling these sufficiently to blow them up in a few minutes. Messrs. Herring & Co. a few years since [that is, a few years before 1870] adopted the plan of making their burglar-proof safes externally of boiler-plate wrought iron, with an inner safe of hardened steel, and then filled the space between with a casting of Franklinite, the hardest of all known metallic ores, which in casting was incorporated with rods of soft steel, those on one side running vertically, and those on the other horizontally. These castings resist the best drills for many hours. This has, in connexion with the burglar-proof locks, proved the most complete protection against burglars yet invented." (One Hundred Years' Progress of the United States, 1870, p. 397)
I think this is cool: Intermittently from 1943 to 1951, the Herring-Hall-Marvin Safe Company, located in Hamilton, Ohio, fabricated slugs from rolled natural uranium metal stock for the Manhattan Engineer District and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.
Does your safe bother Geiger counters?
Prior to 1972, the UL designations used an alpha designation that was the same as Safe Manufacturers National Association (SMNA).
(3) Class 350-1 Hour (Former UL and SMNA Classification "C"). A specimen safe containing papers and records is placed in a testing furnace for a one-hour exposure to heat reaching 1,700°F.Physical Security Handbook (http://www.usgs.gov/usgs-manual/handbook/hb/440-2-h/440-2-h-ch7.html)
"T20" eludes me, too.
July 16, 2007, 02:18 PM
The T-20 is a 20 minute tamper rating, which would be similar (but better) than today's RSC rating.
It wasn't a burglar rating like the TL ratings are, but rather saying that it had some security, even though it was a document safe.
The previous poster did a good job with the rest of the info.
July 16, 2007, 07:18 PM
Any idea of its value?
Would this be a good thing to store documents in or should I get one of the newer ones?
Really this thing it way too heavy to put anywhere but the garage, and I don't really want it there, soooo....
Are the little fireproof safes they sell at WalMart and such any good, or should I just roll this thing into the new garage and call it a day?
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