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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ 85298
    Posts
    275
    Country: United States

    Default

    This may be an optical illusion but the vault door appears to be a lot thicker/deeper than the door frame/wall thickness...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Also, I do not see and bolt marks where they extended and rest against the interior frame. It almost looks like this is a transplanted door and grille from a former bank to someone's man cave. Not what I would expect from a typical bank installation from the early 1900's.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    new york / NYC area
    Posts
    57
    Country: United States

    Default

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The red arrow points to where the locking bolts lock into the frame. The day gate is always been there as far as I know. The ramp is down in this picture so the door can't close. TJ

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,254
    Country: United States

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    VaultDoors asked about additions to his "inventory" of combo-viewer vaults and I realized his list is missing the former Colorado National Bank in Denver (which closed in 2009). The building is at 918 17th (17th and Champa), built in 1915 with Remington-Sherman vaults. More floors were added in 1926 in a slightly different style, and more floors were added around 2013 for its conversion to a Marriott Renaissance hotel. So the architecture is an interesting mixture.

    Back to the vaults, a few images:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Some (all?) of the vaults appear to be accessible with some (all?) converted to other uses such as meeting rooms. I really should go see these some day, Denver isn't very far from home. Are there any specific features that need to be photographed?

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,254
    Country: United States

    Default

    I just realized the Colorado National Bank is not a "viewer style" installation, merely a "side mount". But the door should be identical or nearly so.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ 85298
    Posts
    275
    Country: United States

    Default

    I have stumbled across many Remote Combination Vaults (without viewers) in my quest to discover all known Remote Combination Viewer Vaults. Remote Combinations (and bolt-throwing handles) are either flush-mounted on the door jamb or surface-mounted on the door jamb in a case with illuminated combination dial(s) and a pressure system lug. Check out the Remote Combination Vaults album.

    All Remote Combination Viewers either have a pressure system lug like One King West:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    or serve as the pressure system lug lock like the Cleveland Federal Reserve:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #26

    Default

    Wow guys, those are fantastic pictures! Keep posting more :)

    Best regards from Germany

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    new york / NYC area
    Posts
    57
    Country: United States

    Default

    What was the pressure system use for on these vault doors?
    Why are the early doors round and the later doors rectangular with the pressure system?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    How is this vault door locked or unlocked?
    Enjoy TJ

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,336
    Country: Wales

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by T Davison View Post
    What was the pressure system use for on these vault doors?
    Why are the early doors round and the later doors rectangular with the pressure system?

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	16983
    How is this vault door locked or unlocked?
    Enjoy TJ

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,254
    Country: United States

    Default

    I'll just cut and paste from another thread:

    The pressure system, or pressure bars, is a mechanical system that presses the door very firmly into the door frame. This ensures the door can be locked tightly without any gaps that could allow explosives (such as nitroglycerine) to be poured in. It also helps seal the door against fire, smoke, and flooding. It can also mitigate problems from normal wear on the hinges that cause the door to sag, by pulling the door up against its taper and thus lift it upward. And when it comes time to open a tightly pressed-in door, the pressure bars can exert force to help break it free of the door frame.

    Pressure systems can generate very great forces, many tons in most cases.

    The system usually consists of one, two, three, or four bars across the door that rotate less than one turn. The bars are rotated by a large hand wheel and gears. Each bar has an offset pin that engages an anchor with a curved slot. In some cases the bar has a rotating slot and the pin is in the anchor.

    The pressure needs to be evenly applied across the door.

    ------------------

    Your other question, how does that door lock and unlock, is another small story. For a time there were worries that burglars could punch lock spindles through the door and use the hole(s) to somehow unlock the door (which would include messing with the time lock). One approach to avoid this problem is the side-mount control as seen in this thread (with or without the viewer optics which simply gives greater security against visual eavesdropping) which places the locks well away from the time locks. The other approach, as in the door you show, is to use the time lock to cause the door to open itself using a bolt motor (big springs) which requires zero holes in the door or vault. In this case, at closing time, two big springs are compressed and latched, and the time lock is set for the next scheduled opening. When the door is closed one of the springs is tripped and the door locks itself. At opening time the other spring is tripped and the door unlocks itself. The springs and timers are usually doubled (or more) for redundancy in case a spring breaks but that's the basic idea. The bad part about an automatic door is that it will unlock itself even if nobody is there, such as a blizzard that makes travel nearly impossible for the bank manager but not criminals who seize the opportunity. Or riots. One refinement was a time lock that could have time added to it remotely using a telephone circuit. I've always felt that both approaches (side-mount controls, automatic boltwork) were solutions in search of a problem and serve as examples of marketing skills.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,254
    Country: United States

    Default

    As for your question about round and rectangular doors, I believe round ones showed up roughly 1900 (maybe a little earlier) when manufacturing could easily handle such large pieces at the required precision. But why? What's the advantage? My impression is that it's partly marketing. A big round door is quite impressive. And you can make a case that machining a round door to an airtight fit with its frame is easier.

    My impression is that they first showed up mostly in private safe deposit companies.

    It was common for larger banks to have two separate vaults. One would use a round door for the safe deposit boxes (once banks got into that business) because they look cool, and a smaller rectangular-door vault for their own cash, securities, and ledger books. At times these were side-by-side and might even share a wall to reduce construction costs. In other cases one vault was built on top of the other (such as One King West in Toronto).

    Round doors started fading in popularity around 1960 or so, at least that's my impression.

    Getting back to the thread topic, Holmes adapted his side-mount controls to both styles.

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