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Old Bank Safe?

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Old Bank Safe?

Postby Neall » Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:11 am

CHUBB_MOSLER_and_TAYLO  

Hi Terry,

I have enjoyed reading through all these safe and vault Q&As - thanks!

My sister has started managing a small store.  In the basement of her store is an old safe with very little information on it.  It is about 2' wide by 3' high.  There is a label that says CHUBB-MOSLER and TAYLOR, but I can't seem to get much online information about the amalgamated companies - only the individual companies.  I do know that the safe must be post 1959 since that is when the company formed.

There is no UL label to be found anywhere.  Furthermore, the double dials don't have any numbers on them(anymore?) as if someone tried to pull them off.  The bottom dial has old glue residue all around obviously having been taped over which tells me that the top dial  should open the safe alone(or at least did at some point in the safe's history).

I wonder if this safe is an old depository since the store my sister is in has been a financial institution in the past.

My sister, being the manager, has given me open season to open the safe.  Can you give me any information about the safe, dialing instructions, etc.  I have not tried any factory Taylor combinations yet, but suspect that I would need CHUBB-MOSLER and TAYLOR specific combinations anyway. I think this might be the first of many exercises in a budding manipulation hobby(piggy-backing off a long-standing locksmithing one)!

Any information you can provide would be helpful.

Regards,

Yosh ANSWER: Yosh,

Here is the basic history for this company.

Chubb established operations in Canada in 1954. The core business was the manufacture and installation of safes, vault doors, night depositories and other heavy physical security items.

Shortly afterward J.& J. Taylor Safe Works, a Toronto based company with deep Canadian roots, was acquired. The new company became Chubb- Mosler and Taylor Safes, by virtue of the acquisition of Taylor, and an association with the Mosler Safe Company of Hamilton Ohio, in 1959.

So this was not a new, unique establishment, it was the product of a merger similar to Herring-Hall-Marvin(HHM) in 1892.

All of these companies no longer exist as separate entities.  Chubb and its subsidiaries were acquired by Gunnebo and it is only a "brand name" any longer.  Mosler went bankrupt in 2001.  It only exists in Canada and Mexico any longer, mainly as another "brand name", and JJ Taylor ceased to exist when it was acquired by Chubb.

Gunnebo Canada LTD, also purchased Diebold Canada, and Tann Cananda between 1984 to the early 1990s.  Other aquisitions include Independent Security Products of Canada, 1994.

UL Labels that indicate the security level a safe or model is approved to are only required for safes being sold in the US and claiming that category.  In some cases safes are tested by their manufactures.  These safes may have a manufactures label and not a UL label claiming the UL equivilant testing.  Different countries have different testing laboratories and labeling procedures.  As your safe is locked, the labels are probably on the interior(back side of the door).

I doubt the safe was a "depository" as it would have some sort of chute built in, to allow customers to drop "deposits" into the storage area.

Your note about the glue or tape residue are only partially correct.  I doubt that this unit has redundant locks.  the reason the lower one was taped was probably because they only used the upper lock.  If the lower one was redundant, there would have been no reason for the tape!  You are probably going to have to open both locks - if you are lucky, they may be on the same combination.

note:  about factory combinations.  Generally safes like this are set on a neutral number at the factory.  The working combination would be set when the safe was installed - which means there will be no factory records of what combination was set.  Also, banks are in the habit of changing combinations annually or when ever an employee that had the combination leaves.  This would indicate that the combination to this safe could have been changed dozens of times over the years.

The rule in the banking industry,(not that anyone every follows rules), would be to set the combination back to a neutral number, when a safe is no longer going to be used.  This way the safe is still useable if the bank decides to use it at a later date.  Combos would include 50 or in Mosler case 50-25-50.

the locks that you have appear to be S&G 4 wheel vault locks.  Depending on the handing of the locks the dialing sequence may be RLRLR or LRLRL(54321).  Relabeling of the dial shouldn't be to big an issue, though your alignment may not be correct for trying any existing numbers, it would be satisfactory for manipulation as these are reference points for unknown numbers anyway.

Good luck with your "budding" manipulation career.  You definitly have a challenge with this safe.

Andy

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Andy...thanks!  Great information.

Might you give me a pseudo UL label based on your knowledge of the safe?  I realize I have a challenge ahead of me, but is this just a regular manipulation challenge or is this lock somehow manipulation resistant?  Is it possible that this safe IS a depository with the "chute" side buried in the wall?  The walls and streets and buildings in that part of town have changed drastically over the decades; I suspect that the safe is backed into a wall that used to be an outside wall.  I will look more carefully next time I am there.  Or, does the safe look like something else other than a depository?

Since I have to relabel the dials somewhat accurately to where the original labels were so that I can try neutral combos,(I realize it would be an arbitrary decision for the sake of manipulation) do you have a general tip to where the label should line up with respect to the contact region?  I figure if the contact region is 10 numbers "wide" and it normally lines up between 80 and 90 on the dial, it should be easy enough to relabel accurately.  Any thoughts?  Is that too much of a stab in the dark?  I guess I could always make a big plus sign label to establish a "50" and a "25" and then try 100 combos rotating the label 3.6 degrees every try....

By "redundant locks", do you mean either dial can open the safe?  I thought the double dial(Yale, I presume) locks could be set to require both or either dial to be set?  Is this lock not one of those?  Are you supposing that the bottom dial was not redundant, but was just taped in the open position?

Lastly, can you tell me how the safe would open based on whether one or two dials are needed?  If both dials are needed, will I know if one dial is set to the correct combination before I move on to the other, or do I need to somehow manipulate both dials simultaneously?

Much appreciated...keep the knowledge coming!

Yosh
Neall
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:28 pm

Old Bank Safe?

Postby cailean » Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:51 pm

CHUBB_MOSLER_and_TAYLO  

Hi Terry,

I have enjoyed reading through all these safe and vault Q&As - thanks!

My sister has started managing a small store.  In the basement of her store is an old safe with very little information on it.  It is about 2' wide by 3' high.  There is a label that says CHUBB-MOSLER and TAYLOR, but I can't seem to get much online information about the amalgamated companies - only the individual companies.  I do know that the safe must be post 1959 since that is when the company formed.

There is no UL label to be found anywhere.  Furthermore, the double dials don't have any numbers on them(anymore?) as if someone tried to pull them off.  The bottom dial has old glue residue all around obviously having been taped over which tells me that the top dial  should open the safe alone(or at least did at some point in the safe's history).

I wonder if this safe is an old depository since the store my sister is in has been a financial institution in the past.

My sister, being the manager, has given me open season to open the safe.  Can you give me any information about the safe, dialing instructions, etc.  I have not tried any factory Taylor combinations yet, but suspect that I would need CHUBB-MOSLER and TAYLOR specific combinations anyway. I think this might be the first of many exercises in a budding manipulation hobby(piggy-backing off a long-standing locksmithing one)!

Any information you can provide would be helpful.

Regards,

Yosh ANSWER: Yosh,

Here is the basic history for this company.

Chubb established operations in Canada in 1954. The core business was the manufacture and installation of safes, vault doors, night depositories and other heavy physical security items.

Shortly afterward J.& J. Taylor Safe Works, a Toronto based company with deep Canadian roots, was acquired. The new company became Chubb- Mosler and Taylor Safes, by virtue of the acquisition of Taylor, and an association with the Mosler Safe Company of Hamilton Ohio, in 1959.

So this was not a new, unique establishment, it was the product of a merger similar to Herring-Hall-Marvin(HHM) in 1892.

All of these companies no longer exist as separate entities.  Chubb and its subsidiaries were acquired by Gunnebo and it is only a "brand name" any longer.  Mosler went bankrupt in 2001.  It only exists in Canada and Mexico any longer, mainly as another "brand name", and JJ Taylor ceased to exist when it was acquired by Chubb.

Gunnebo Canada LTD, also purchased Diebold Canada, and Tann Cananda between 1984 to the early 1990s.  Other aquisitions include Independent Security Products of Canada, 1994.

UL Labels that indicate the security level a safe or model is approved to are only required for safes being sold in the US and claiming that category.  In some cases safes are tested by their manufactures.  These safes may have a manufactures label and not a UL label claiming the UL equivilant testing.  Different countries have different testing laboratories and labeling procedures.  As your safe is locked, the labels are probably on the interior(back side of the door).

I doubt the safe was a "depository" as it would have some sort of chute built in, to allow customers to drop "deposits" into the storage area.

Your note about the glue or tape residue are only partially correct.  I doubt that this unit has redundant locks.  the reason the lower one was taped was probably because they only used the upper lock.  If the lower one was redundant, there would have been no reason for the tape!  You are probably going to have to open both locks - if you are lucky, they may be on the same combination.

note:  about factory combinations.  Generally safes like this are set on a neutral number at the factory.  The working combination would be set when the safe was installed - which means there will be no factory records of what combination was set.  Also, banks are in the habit of changing combinations annually or when ever an employee that had the combination leaves.  This would indicate that the combination to this safe could have been changed dozens of times over the years.

The rule in the banking industry,(not that anyone every follows rules), would be to set the combination back to a neutral number, when a safe is no longer going to be used.  This way the safe is still useable if the bank decides to use it at a later date.  Combos would include 50 or in Mosler case 50-25-50.

the locks that you have appear to be S&G 4 wheel vault locks.  Depending on the handing of the locks the dialing sequence may be RLRLR or LRLRL(54321).  Relabeling of the dial shouldn't be to big an issue, though your alignment may not be correct for trying any existing numbers, it would be satisfactory for manipulation as these are reference points for unknown numbers anyway.

Good luck with your "budding" manipulation career.  You definitly have a challenge with this safe.

Andy

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Andy...thanks!  Great information.

Might you give me a pseudo UL label based on your knowledge of the safe?  I realize I have a challenge ahead of me, but is this just a regular manipulation challenge or is this lock somehow manipulation resistant?  Is it possible that this safe IS a depository with the "chute" side buried in the wall?  The walls and streets and buildings in that part of town have changed drastically over the decades; I suspect that the safe is backed into a wall that used to be an outside wall.  I will look more carefully next time I am there.  Or, does the safe look like something else other than a depository?

Since I have to relabel the dials somewhat accurately to where the original labels were so that I can try neutral combos,(I realize it would be an arbitrary decision for the sake of manipulation) do you have a general tip to where the label should line up with respect to the contact region?  I figure if the contact region is 10 numbers "wide" and it normally lines up between 80 and 90 on the dial, it should be easy enough to relabel accurately.  Any thoughts?  Is that too much of a stab in the dark?  I guess I could always make a big plus sign label to establish a "50" and a "25" and then try 100 combos rotating the label 3.6 degrees every try....

By "redundant locks", do you mean either dial can open the safe?  I thought the double dial(Yale, I presume) locks could be set to require both or either dial to be set?  Is this lock not one of those?  Are you supposing that the bottom dial was not redundant, but was just taped in the open position?

Lastly, can you tell me how the safe would open based on whether one or two dials are needed?  If both dials are needed, will I know if one dial is set to the correct combination before I move on to the other, or do I need to somehow manipulate both dials simultaneously?

Much appreciated...keep the knowledge coming!

Yosh
cailean
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:14 am

Old Bank Safe?

Postby MacAlpin » Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:41 am

Yosh,

Lets see if I can't answer your questions in order:

First, the UL Label has nothing to do with the lock.  The UL label indicates how "hard" the safe would be to break in to.  The locks appear to be S&G vault locks based on the dials, but similar dials could also be on their regular locks.  The vault locks are not manipulation resistive, but they are 4 wheel locks which incrementally makes it much harder than manipulating a 3 wheel lock.

The first step in manipulation is to count the number of wheels and to try to determine what lock you are dealing with.  If you are "mentally" working on the wrong lock, you will make dialing errors which could make manipulation harder or impossible.

While it is possible that this safe was used as a depository, It is not the type of safe that would normally be used for this purpose.  Generally depositories are just TL-15 or TL-30 plate steel safes, not composite type safes.  So unless you find a depository chute, I wouldn't count on this being a depository.

Generally the numbers on the dials are engraved or indented as part of the fabrication process.  The dials in the pictures are what is refered to as "spy proof" dials which would have the numbers on the top edge of the dials.  These numbers would not be visible from the face(as in your photos).  You mentioned that someone "peeled" the numbers off!  I have never seen a dial that the numbers could be "peeled" off.  I think you need to take another look at the dials.  I have never even seen a dial that the numbers were worn off so badly that they couldn't be restored.  

A "Redundant Lock" means that EITHER lock will open the safe.  Redundancy is accomplished in the bolt work not the locks.  The bolt work can be set to require one or both locks be unlocked to allow access to the door.  It has nothing to do with the locks.  You also do not have a double dial Yale lock.

I am assuming(from 40 years experience) that the lower lock was taped in the open position by the safe owners to keep from having to unlock both locks everytime.  By leaving one lock open, they only had to deal with a single lock every time the safe was opened.  

If the safe had a redundant lock system - by having the second lock taped in the open position - the safe would NEVER be locked.

This doesn't mean that both locks are set on different combinations, they may well be on the same combination.  When you discover the combo for the first lock, try it on the second lock - it may open.  You may also want to try variations of the first combo on the second lock to see if they will work.  Try to think like the previous owner.

You will know when the locks are "unlocked" as the dial will come to a full and complete stop during the last revolution of the dial.  If the safe doesn't open, then you WILL have to open the second lock also, which means that if you don't have a combination you will start the manipulation process over again from scratch.

I have seen some of the best manipulators in the country work on a lock unsucessfully, after having made a mental error, only to have someone with much less experience follow behind them and make a correct diagnosis and manipulate the lock open.  It doesn't mean the second person is better by any means, but it does illustrate the importance of mentally being on your game, understanding the lock and understanding the manipulation process.

Good Luck

Andy
MacAlpin
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:13 pm


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