Monday, December 29, 2014

City Liquidators' Mosler Safe: A Historic Tale

We here at City Liquidators love safes. All of them are sturdy and reliable, but one of our most noteworthy was manufactured by the brand, Mosler Safe Company (for photos of our safe, scroll to the end of the post).

The Mosler Safe Company was a 19th century security equipment manufacturer founded by Gustave Mosler, and was most famous for their safes and bank vaults. The company survived and prospered for most of their 134 years from 1887 to 2001, when they claimed bankruptcy. Even though they went out cold in the end, during their golden years, their safes and bank vaults were in 80% of the world's banks, and in countless homes and companies on top of that.

 Originally founded in Cincinnati, Ohio as the Mosler-Bahmann safe company, it didn't take long for the work to become too much for the small space. About 4 years after the company was founded, they had to relocate to a bigger manufacturing plant in Hamilton, Ohio in 1891, where they remained til the end of the company's life in 2001. There they gave jobs to over 1,000 local residents and stood as the pillar of the local economy for many decades. 

According to a big-time history buff from Hamilton, Ohio, "Their products had a reputation of being some of the strongest and most secure in existence and their wealth of individual, international and government contracts indicated that people believed in that reputation" ( Several vaults installed in Hiroshima's Mitsui Bank building even survived the atomic bomb that U.S. troops dropped on the city on August 6, 1945. Even the Teikoku bank's vaults and contents survived while the entire building was decimated. After that, their products were admired for being "stronger than the atomic bomb" (

According to, "In the late 1950's [1957], Mosler took their products to Yucca Flats nuclear testing grounds [in Nevade] to recreate this show of strength. They placed a Mosler Century steel vault door and concrete vault with various contents in the blast zone and the vault survived intact despite being subject to pressures of 48 tons per square foot!"

After the news of that spread, the Mosler Safe Company's business was booming. They made doors for missile silos, the vault that used to hold both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, and a giant panic vault for the U.S. government in case of nuclear war and the destruction of Washington D.C. during the height of the Cold War.

(The giant panic vault in West Virginia for the U.S. government. Photo courtesy of

In 1967, the founding family sold off the business to American Standard Companies, who then sold it off in 1986 to Mosler managers and outside investors. Then, sadly, in 2001, Mosler claimed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy (reorganization under the bankruptcy code to keep the business alive and pay back creditors over time. But because of the large amount of debt he was in, he closed the business shortly thereafter.

The Mosler name is now pieced apart between Chubb-Mosler and Taylor Safes, Ltd. in Canada, and a small successor company in the U.K..

But if you're like us, there's nothing like the old and traditional products of the world. We have just one of this historic company's safes left and if you want to own a piece of history, you can for only $699 at City Liquidators.
Our Safe

Call our main store at 503.238.4477 for delivery or more info. You can also stop by our main store, where it resides, at 823 SE 3rd Ave., Portland, OR 97214. Happy Monday!

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