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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    135
    Country: United States

    Default Lets ID this cannonball safe.

    I snagged another cannonball today when it turned up on Craigslist. I wasn't planning on adding to the fleet but it was different and the price was right, so what the hell, number 14 safe. There is not any lettering on it and I think the base is repainted. More than likely that is where the name was. The top is original and there is enough of the artwork to duplicate it. It says MANGANESE STEEL MONEY CHEST on the etched nickel plated front door cover. There is also a patent tag riveted to the hinge that says PATENTED NOV 11 1902 and SEPT 6 1904.

    It has a lug door with a mechanism mounted near the hinge that locks the door from rotating when it is opened. Has a Yale lock and a Yale time lock inside. There is an inner compartment with a key lock door that removes instead of being hinged. I did a search on line and could not find a similar safe. My gut tells me it is a Manganese Safe Company safe, what say you experts?


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    72
    Country: Italy

    Default

    Sorry I can't help identifying the safe. But I've seen some of your restorations and can't wait to follow this one. I'm sure it'll be amazing.

    Cheers :)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Hartford CT
    Posts
    165
    Country: United States

    Default National

    National Bankers Chest.


    The most distinguishing fact is the bolt pattern on the front bearing plate. National used this pattern on most all their Cannon Balls, Screw door and Lug door Bankers Chests.


    The pull handles, body hinges, and pedestal all are representative of National.


    DH

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    135
    Country: United States

    Default

    Thank you for the reply, David. Is that the full name of the company? I did a quick google search and did not come up with much. Do you have any info on the company or their products? Perhaps Doug will look in his magic hat and come up with something.

    It certainly is different than the usual cannonballs/bank safes that turn up. It will fit in well with some of the other oddballs I have.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    135
    Country: United States

    Default

    I did find this reference:

    In 1920, Steelcraft Corporation of America took over the assets of the National Safe Company. The company made fire and burgular proof safes, vault doors, safe deposit boxes, money chests and other security related items.

    The page also had this picture of a cannonball. There are similarities.

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    135
    Country: United States

    Default

    After an exhaustive search I finally found another National safe that is the same. From an Ebay auction back in 2012 only one image has been recovered so far, a side image, it is an exact match. I have been in contact with the lock shop that sold it and they are looking for the original pictures. While I couldnít come up with much on National Safe there are some examples of the tradition square safes, but very little on their cannonball or other bank safes.

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    I now have the safe home and took a closer look at its construction and lock. The castings of the body and base are of high quality. Much better than my Victor cannonball or Mosler screw doors. It seems to be a very well made safe.

    mw5ocm 1

    1687rc3 1

    The Yale lock and time lock are a little different setup and hope some of you can tell more about it. On my other rotating door bank safes the combination lock (day lock) controls the movement of the door on the front of the door. The time lock controls separate locking action to secure the door on the inside. On this National, the dial is recessed into the door and the spindle passes through to the lock case on the back side of the door. The spindle gear drives the wheel pack (4 wheels) which then drives another gear on the fence similar to a friction fence model but the fence is spring operated. The lock needed a severe cleaning as it looked like it was lubed with axle grease.. The lock bolt directly moves the 4 door bolts through linkage. This National is probably not as secure as others because of the spindle hole to the inside.
    The time lock only disables the combination lock when the snubber bar moves and allows a pivoting lever to lock the fence action. Can anyone shed some light on this setup? Here it is with the time lock in both positions.

    2r2awar 1


    i2r03s 1

    I was pleased to find that the original carpets were intact. I didnít know what to expect inside as the lady who was selling it had it stuffed full when I looked at it. A close inspection of the inside turned up some goodies. Under the lower carpet were 3 paper clips, a petrified rubber band, 2 bent wire things, 2 quarters 1972 & 1979, a 1899 dime, and a 1906 Indian head penny. Wedged in a corner space of the upper shelf was a time lock winding key and a very rare original key for the Yale time lock door. Always fun to find something.

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    15oi437 1

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Hartford CT
    Posts
    165
    Country: United States

    Default National Safe and Lock Company.

    Quote Originally Posted by 00247 View Post
    Thank you for the reply, David. Is that the full name of the company? I did a quick google search and did not come up with much. Do you have any info on the company or their products? Perhaps Doug will look in his magic hat and come up with something.

    It certainly is different than the usual cannonballs/bank safes that turn up. It will fit in well with some of the other oddballs I have.
    Is that the full name of the company?
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Posts
    1,291
    Country: United States

    Default

    Nice find on that National. On the castings, I believe they were made by TISCO Taylor Iron and Steel Co. A general identifier on day locks on cannonballs is that the dial is not recessed. Not true on all but is for most. If it is recessed then the comb lock is deep in the door. Which also means it will not be an automatic. Mating time locks into comb locks goes way back and there are many different setups. . A S&G version time lock and comb were shown in "American Genius". It took me a moment to realize the S&G Cleoh name stood for Cleveland Ohio, National made all kinds of safes and bank vaults, starting in 1882, incorporated in 1883.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    135
    Country: United States

    Default

    David, that picture is from the same Ebay auction I mentioned. Do you have any more of them? I have not yet had a reply from the shop in Pueblo, CO. My National was not lettered like that one. That safe was redone so who knows if it is accurate. I have searched the base on this one carefully and got down to the original paint. Only the base had been repainted. No evidence of any lettering. I did find a little gold leaf on the top of the safe between the top stripe and the stripe on the front so I believe National Safe and Lock Co. was at the top.

    Thanks Doug for your input. I am surprised more information on National is not available. Virtually nothing turns up online. I am pretty good at digging up old documents, newspapers, or trade paper articles but am coming up empty handed this time. I can't find anything on the 1904 and 1906 patents claimed on the tag either. I found another tidbit about Steelcraft buying National which apparently went through a change at one point.


    The Steelcraft Corporation of America is a Delaware corporation organized last May to take over the business of the National Safe Company which had acquired the business of the National Safe & Lock Company that was organized In 1884 The product consists of Are and burglar proof bank vaults chests safety deposit boxes and similar devices The Steelcraft Corporation proposes to extend the business through the purchase of other plants operating In the same lines and will operate under much the same management that handled the affairs of the National Safe Company for a number of years with the addition of representatives of the HW Dubiske Co which is doing the present financing There is now being offered an additional $500,000 of 1 preferred stock bringing the outstanding amount of this is are up to $662,500 of an authorized $3,000 000 There will also be outstanding 6,625 shares of the class A common stock and 30.000 shares of class B common The statement of the company adjusted to include the proceeds of this financing indicates total assets of $1,205,827 and after deducting $69,000 of bonds and the current liabilities there are net assets of about $880,000 to apply against the outstanding capital stock These figures do not include any value that attaches to the two patents covering the construction of fire proof safes and vault doors

    I have been painstakingly documenting the artwork. There is just enough to get it back to original. I have it mapped out full size for reference. It will all be corrected on computer.

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    I did some disassembly on the door and was amazed at what I found. First I discovered that there is a bearing at the base of the hinge, very nice.

    29kxeop 1

    When I pulled the door cover I was shocked at what I found. The door is supported by two trolleys mounted to the door pivot shafts by bearings. The trolleys run in grooves machined into the door cover. They are adjusted by turning the large decorative finials which are threaded onto the shafts. This adjusts the door vertically. The shafts pass through over sized holes in the hinge cradle. These shafts are adjusted horizontally by four set screws on the cradle. Quite a bit different than what Victor or Mosler used.

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    33ugaap 1

    Found the numbers under the top hinge finial.

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Posts
    1,291
    Country: United States

    Default

    I am not sure if I have all the National patents but I do have several of them including some regarding the door carriage. I also have some other National history as well as pictures of several cannonballs and earlier round door laminated chests. One I worked on several years ago had original paint and looks a lot like yours. My current problem is I am unable to load pictures on the forum due to my crappy notebook which I need to replace.

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