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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    11
    Country: United States

    Default 1906 Mosler bank vault.

    I have a Mosler Bank Vault door in my building. The following is items that were told to me. First was Bank of Russia, then became Bank of America. There were also stories of First National Bank of which I do have another vault door in my building that has that name stenciled on it. The best fact is it was Bank of America founded in 1906. I believe it was a First National Bank before that so believe the door is older than 1906. Building ws erected in late 1800's. I am including pics and measurements.
    Door--6ft. 4in. H 2ft 6in. W
    Door thickness----3/4 in. Hinges 1 1/4 in.
    Top Hinge wall---- With acorns 18 in top hinge door face connect 16 1/4 in
    Bottom Hinge---only 1 acorn 14 1/2 in Door connect 16 1/4 in.
    Hinge plate connecting door 5ft. 9 1/2 in. H 1ft. 9 in. W
    Twelve 1 in Diameter locking bolts--2 top and 2 bottom 4 each side of door
    In a couple of the old pics it shows the door open. There is a Glass door covering the inside works. The lock has a stamped number 1441 on the cover.
    I DO have the combination for this door. It is 5 number combination. The copper color is the inside of door showing the Damasking and the other is the frame.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 47dd359ba39246c5825dd6cfd1e0b7e4.jpg   60a7f331d4875eb2c48940189b96cf37--bank-of-america.jpg   268a16c8b0ebf60c91ca4baba466e151.jpg   IMG_3826.JPG   IMG_3827.JPG  

    IMG_3828.JPG   IMG_3830.JPG   IMG_3831.JPG   IMG_3832.JPG   IMG_3833.JPG  

    IMG_3834.JPG   IMG_3835.JPG   IMG_3836.JPG   IMG_3837.JPG  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    11
    Country: United States

    Default

    I believe this has a Crain Hinge. Will be putting up for sale soon.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    81
    Country: Australia

    Default

    ​Whilst they are similar at first glance, the door shown in the old photos is not the same door as in the recent photos.

    The most obvious difference can be seen by looking at the boltwork on the inside of each door. The door in the old photos has a lot more sets of horizontal bolts than does the more modern door.

    Looking at the frame of the older door, it is clear that it had two horizontal pressure bars, whereas the newer door has only one (this is the horizontal bar running across the middle of the outside of the door).

    The hinges are also different. They are crane hinges as you suggest.

    As you are probably aware, the name on the door, Bob Fields, corresponds to a jeweller in Porterville. If he's still alive, he would be 79 years old. He was still alive and living in Porterville in 2013. He may be able to shed some light upon the age and history of the door, and whether it predates him or not.

    Should Bob be unavailable, there are experts here with knowledge that dwarfs mine, who will have some insight into the likely age of the door.

    Unfortunately, even if this door was as old as you suggest, it is very rare for them to be sold at a profit. They often end up offered for sale, usually with hefty asking prices, but the reality is that they either remain in situ, or are removed as scrap at significant expense.

    It isn't unheard of for a deal to be struck whereby a party who wants the door removes it at no cost to the building's owner. The door & frame are seen as payment for the labour of removing it. I don't think the door your have is desirable enough to attract such a deal, however.

    Should you decide to leave the door in situ but won't be using it, and depending on the use of the building, it might be advisable to have the mechanism disabled a suitably qualified locksmith/safe technician. This will prevent the possibility of people ending up accidentally locked inside.

    It would be great to see pictures of the other door you describe.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,239
    Country: Wales

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyO2 View Post
    I believe this has a Crain Hinge. Will be putting up for sale soon.
    Your old bank is so much more than the sum of its parts.
    Probably just me but never understood the logic being attracted to such a specialised building as a bank, and with such a rich and traceable history, to the point of actually buying it, in order to then start ripping out and selling off the most unique and important parts that actually make it what it is.

    Reminds me of the trend here in the 1980s where Victorian houses with featured high ceilings and superb fireplaces had them ripped out and sold for scrap to install fashionable 'modern' contemporary stuff. Twenty years later everyone wanted 'original' and then had to buy them back from salvage yards paying 1,000 for the very same fireplaces they'd chucked out 20 years before...
    Huw

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    11
    Country: United States

    Default

    Mercury, pics 3,4,and 5 are the other vault door. As you can see the inner workings have been removed. No idea where they might be. # 5 is the inner door and still has the lock attached. This vault has been turned into a wine cellar. You are right that the old photos are not the same door. It is the only ones I can find in historical photos that are attributed to this building. And by the way, I bought this building from Bob Fields and he is now 91 years old and we are still in contact.

    Huw, I can see your point although each as much as I would like to be a purist sometimes it doesn't work out. The first photo is what the building looks like now after extensive upgrades by the previous owner, The building has also been earthquake retrograded with massive steel I beams. There is still the original high ceilings with I believe what is called wagon wheel wood work.The 2nd photo is the more modern bank vault that is located upstairs and used by me regularly. This was a jewelry store for over 30 years before I bought it and ran my jewelry store here for 20 years.
    The older vault is located in the basement and has not been used for probably 70 years (or more). 2 other vault doors have been removed (many years ago, before me) and are in use in San Francisco, thus being usable and enjoyed and not just history collecting dust.
    I may have someone Interested in the door to be used as it should , it is still a part of history but will be enjoyed by many more that can see and talk about it. If it stays in the basement it is just relegated to nothing but an out of site "thing" from history that will not be seen or enjoyed.
    The history of this building is not as traceable as it would seem. I have spent hours trying to do just that.
    I retired this year and if I had a place for it I would definitely use it myself.
    Removing a "part" of a historical building does not make that building any LESS historical in my opinion.

    And if you are interested, I have a building for sale with 2 bank vaults and a wine cellar (with another bank vault door.)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_3839.JPG   IMG_3840.JPG   IMG_3841.JPG   IMG_3842.JPG   IMG_3843.JPG  


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,239
    Country: Wales

    Default

    Daddy02, thanks for taking the time for your detailed reply.
    I can indeed see your situation, and like you say things don't always work out as planned, particularly from 'our' purist point of view.
    I am still thinking though, that weighing up in terms of work and costs to remove it, it's still probably best to just leave it in place, unless your plans really are such that it cannot remain part of the building under any circumstances.

    I can see your point though, but have to say it would be a great shame as what an interesting story and history, just in the latter 50 years as a jewellers alone. And, to think all that's in addition to all those previous decades as a bank, amazing.

    Good luck with it, I'm sure things will go as you plan and work out in the end.
    Huw

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