The history of the safes (III)


The development of safes in the United States was slightly later than in Europe, but in the case of fireproof safes, the development was faster than the latter. Before Thomas Milner in England began to manufacture fireproof safes, Jesse Delano in the United States applied for the world’s first patent in 1826 for the improved technology of fireproof safes. 1825, Jesse Delano began to produce iron boxes in New York, USA, and he is considered to be the first modern safe manufacturer in the United States. After Jesse Delano, C.J. Gayler started to manufacture safes in the U.S. In 1833, he applied for a patent for a “double-chambered fireproof box”, but C.J. Gayler’s product proved to be ineffective in resisting heat in a fire. In 1833, John Scott patented the use of asbestos in fireproof boxes.


In the early 1830s, the American Daniel Fitzgerald discovered a way to make more reliable fireproof safes using the now well-known Paris plaster as insulation, after which Enos Wilder obtained the patent and produced a large number of fireproof safes named Fire Dragon (Salamander). In the New York fire of 1845, Wilder’s patented Fire Dragon (Salamander) safe protected a large amount of property, and the technology and products were proven. Although Spear found a replacement in 1852, the use of Wilder’s patented safes became popular in the 1840s and 1850s.


In the early 1800s, safes were wooden boxes reinforced with iron and padlocked, and the contents inside were “easy money” for thieves, who could easily break the locks, smash or take the safe. In order to store higher value items, safes continue to improve their security performance; thieves are constantly “researching” technology. Thus begins the race between safe manufacturers and “safe robbers”. This “race” has strongly contributed to the development of the safe industry and has inspired people to make continuous efforts in the design and technology of safes until today.