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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wichita Kansas USA
    Posts
    30
    Country: United States

    Default S. Griffiths & Sons Safe. Anyone know the age? Co. Histo

    Hi,
    I wasn't sure whether to post here or in the safe section. I saw a few English safes posted here...so here goes.

    Safe plate reads.... S. Griffiths & Sons Makers. Heath Town Wolverhampton.

    I'm trying to find out more information on this safe. Does anyone have any written information on this company? The safe is about 17 inches tall 12 inches deep and 13 inches wide. I'm also looking for a key marked S. Griffiths that I may be able to cut to fit my safe. Did Manchester have as many safe makers as Wolverhampton?
    Thanks,
    Dean
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails SgriffithsSONSwolverhampton.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tavistock, Devon UK
    Posts
    562
    Country: Great Britain

    Default

    Well its square cornered construction makes it pre 1890.

    ____________

    Ian

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    54

    Default

    I had one of those! Differently badged, but otherwise the same.

    Mine had twin draws at the bottom, with the same style handle and everything, made by S.F. Turner, also in Wolverhampton, in the same style.

    I got it for free off ebay, then sold it on after painting it.

    The safe isn't really very secure, the back is thin plate, spaced by sawdust (old fashioned fire protection), and so are the sides. The front door is quite solid, about 10mm thick. The lock in the draw is two lever and rather weak to pressure on the bolt, and the door lock is a small but unimpressive 7 (iirc) lever lock.

    Overall, a nice safe for a collection if in nice condition. Not worth much, though.

    It's very hansome. Mine looked like:

    SF Turner Wellington Works Dudley Safe F 1 - S. Griffiths & Sons Safe. Anyone know the age? Co. Histo
    Inside the door:
    Turner door internals 1 - S. Griffiths & Sons Safe. Anyone know the age? Co. Histo
    This is what I got mine to look like:
    safe20finished 1 - S. Griffiths & Sons Safe. Anyone know the age? Co. Histo

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tavistock, Devon UK
    Posts
    562
    Country: Great Britain

    Default

    Similar Safes but Dudley is a long way from Heath Town.
    And the Turner Safe is a 4 bend construction dating it 1890 to 1914.
    Not different badged but different companies.
    And the proofing was sawdust and Alum. The idea being that in a fire the Alum would sweat and make the sawdust damp.

    ___________

    Ian

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Very, very similar.

    The construction inside is very much the same, even down to the four large slot head screws to hold the door inners on. The outer escutcheon is the same, as are the draw handles and lock.

    Where are these 4 bends in my safe? The outer bands are mortised together straight pieces. There isn't a curve on it anywhere except the front door decoration.

    >Dudley is a long way from Heath Town
    7.9 miles isn't far. 2 hours on a cart, even back then.

    Odds are, someone who worked at one company quit and started up in competition in the next town, and bought the locks and other bits off the same supplier.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tavistock, Devon UK
    Posts
    562
    Country: Great Britain

    Default

    Your right no bends :oops: .
    But still just another of many safe makers in the Midlands, and not rebadging as this is a modern practice to compete in the cheap end of the market and all major manufacturers do it.
    Back in the 70's when I was working at Chubb Salford, you could have found 1/2 a dozen or more of this type of safe waiting to go for scrap.
    All different manufacturers but all very similar in looks.
    Funny you should mention carts, every town would have a blacksmith and every blacksmith would probably make make strong boxes and safes.
    Even the Chubb family started as blacksmiths.
    The attachments below were given to me as part of a catalogue that was given to all Service engineers to aid identification of safes and vault equipment.
    Sadly a practice that stopped when the Company was no longer a family business.
    _________

    Ian.




    _____________

    Ian
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Safe Construction 1.jpg   Safe Construction 2.jpg  

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    27
    Country: UK

    Default

    Haha, I just dug for an hour to find this thread, to find that image you uploaded for dating purposes, Ian! Thanks again for posting it. Mad that it was over a decade ago now!

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