Mosler Safe Company

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The Mosler Safe Company factory, Hamilton, circa 1894.

The Mosler Safe Company was a manufacturer of security equipment, most notably safes and bank vaults, beginning in 1874 and ending with its bankruptcy in 2001.

Founded in Cincinnati by Gustave Mosler and Fred Bahmann as Mosler, Bahmann & Company in 1867. In 1874 after Gustave's death, the Mosler family had a falling out with Mr. Bahmann, leaving Mosler, Bahmann & Company to start the Mosler Safe & Lock Company. Both companies remained in Cincinnati until the 1890s. When Mosler Safe & Lock Co. outgrew its original factory it relocated to Hamilton in 1891, where it remained until its 2001 bankruptcy. Mosler, Bahmann & Company remained in business until around 1898.[1]

Its safes and vaults were renowned for their strength and precision manufacture: several Mosler vaults installed in Hiroshima's Mitsui Bank building prior to WWII survived the nuclear attack, a fact the company widely publicized in its marketing.[2] When the US government began building bunkers and silos during the Cold War, Mosler became the de facto gold standard contractor for blast doors. Mosler built the vault formerly used to display and store the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence.[1] One example, installed at the Atomic Energy Commission's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, weighed approximately 138 tons including the frame. Despite the weight ("the largest and heaviest hinged shielding doors in the world"), each 58-ton blade could be opened and closed manually by one person.

Mosler was controlled by its founding family until 1967, when they sold it to American Standard Companies. American Standard then sold the division to a group of Mosler managers and outside investors in 1986.[3]

After 134 years in business, Mosler filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2001, citing continuing debt problems, and ceased operations shortly thereafter. Diebold subsequently announced programs to support former Mosler customers[4] and ended up buying much of the former company in bankruptcy court a few months later.

The Mosler name carries on to this day in Canada as Chubb-Mosler and Taylor Safes Ltd.,[5] the outcome of a 1950s merger of Mosler's Canadian operations with those of Chubb Security, followed by the acquisition of Taylor Safes of Canada in the following decade.[6]


  1. ^ a b Wood, Roy (2001-08-01). "Mosler employees stunned by closing". The Cincinnati Post. Archived from the original on 2004-11-05. Retrieved 2007-09-02.
  2. ^ "Mosler and the Cold War". Retrieved 2013-07-01.
  3. ^ David Endres (1936-12-19). "Mosler Safe". Retrieved 2013-07-01.
  4. ^ "Mosler Inc. to Cease All Operations, Diebold to Support Customers in Wake of Mosler's Liquidation". Five Star Security Services. 2001-08-08. Retrieved 2007-09-02.
  5. ^ "Business and History - Chubb-Mosler and Taylor Safes Ltd. | Western Libraries". Retrieved 2013-08-12.
  6. ^ "History | Gunnebo Canada Inc". Retrieved 2013-08-12.