"Mangalloy, also called manganese steel or Hadfield steel, is a steel alloy containing an average of around 13% manganese. Mangalloy is known for its high impact strength and resistance to abrasion. Mangalloy is made by alloying steel, containing 0.8 to 1.25% carbon, with 11 to 15% manganese. Mangalloy is a unique non-magnetic steel with extreme anti-wear properties. The material is very resistant to abrasion and will achieve up three times its surface hardness during conditions of impact, without any increase in brittleness which is usually associated with hardness. This allows mangalloy to retain its toughness." -wikipedia
The door on this particular safe is more than a 12inches thick. The spacings of the teeth must be rotated with the hole door just as a plug of a cylinder from a lock must do in order for it to open. It weighs more than 200 lbs.
A time lock was introduced around the turn of the century when kidnapping of the Bank Tellers at night to do their bidding became popular among Jesse James and other bandits of the west. This safe can not be opend unless during the hours permited to do so, and provided the combination is in hand.
This red cannonball safe is a safe that was found in a field more than 50 years ago and was never moved on acount of its weight. The locksmiths at my shop were paid 50 bucks to get it out of an old farmers field. One of our safe crackers that works for our company is ranked 3rd in the nation as the best safe cracker. He and 10 other locksmiths with over 30 plus years of experience could not get this safe open for more than a year. Until one smart individual noticed something... It was already open. Because the door to the safe acts like a plug in a cylinder, it needs to be completely rotated in order for the teeth to disaline and be pulled open. It just so happens this door has been rotated, but rusted into the open position, stuck in that position for more than 50 years. We are mearly a week away from finding out if it can be completly open or not. Until then, it sits on the sidewalk, outside our locksmith shop on Broadway St, in Denver, Colorado.
This particular cannonball safe does not seem to present itself with the technology that most "Time Lock" safe normaly exhibit. The configuration and placement of the Yale Gravity/OB lock and dial for the safe give us a natural time period to work with, but the simple design and function of the door with its solid steel (broken) handle, and lack of time lock, and easy access to the inside of this combination lock being held to gether by just two hardened bolts, tells us this is much, much older than any previous cannon ball safe we have come across do date. Only 2 bolts held together the face of this safe, and kept any safe crackers at bay. This is nothing compared to the technology used on the above safe in the turn of the century.
If the safe is already open, the door should just pull out, unless there is just to much corrosion and rust to allow it. If it is in the closed position, the gears just need to be rotated 90 degrees presumably counter clockwise. Then I can spend a night out on the town, tipping all th hot waitresses with Gold Pirate Coins and jewels! But chances are, theyll just make me sweep and mop while they have all the fun. lol. Life as an apprentice locksmith is never the funnest of times. But ill keep learning, and keep everyone updated on our achievments with this particular cannonball safe. Below is a list that I compiled while trying to research the manufacturer of these two safes. We still have no idea who made them, or when they were made, or what they were used for. There are 12 safe manufactures at the turn of the century, that I could find, that produced these cannonball safes.
Elgin National Watch Company
Mosler Safe Co
Diebold Safe So
Victor Safe and Lock Co
Marvin Safe Co
York Safe and Lock Co
Manganese Steel Safe Co
National Safe Co
Herman Safe Co
Hope you enjoyed my first post. Much respect to Kokomolock, Elbomacaroni, and all the other locksporters and locksmiths keeping me updated and informed with the world of locks.