History of British Safes and Safecracking

Very long and utterly fascinating website on the history of safes and safecracking in England.

If you’ve ever wondered why your safe is as heavy as it is or designed the way it is, this goes a long way to explaining.

http://www.safeman.org.uk/

(a tiny quote)

“At the time of the Cornhill Robbery the weaknesses of safes lay in the fact that the frames of the door opening were insufficiently strong to prevent distortion by the penetration of steel wedges around the leading edge thus creating a gap into which a lever could be inserted – the door plate was usually no more than 1/2″ thick which made it relatively easy to enter the pry bar behind this gap and exert the force necessary to burst the screws or bolts attaching the lockcase to the back of the door.

For the sake of brevity only the most significant of the 36 patents are described. Of these, Walter Henry Tucker’s Patent No.543 is probably the greatest step forward. It states in its third part – ‘firmly connecting large lock bolts (lockcase) to door… giving said bolts a tenacity of connection with the doors.’ This became standard practice in following years by all makers of thief-resisting quality safes.”

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