There’s a place not far from us that always has a collection of interesting things set out by the front door. When I drive by I become so focused on what is on display that I cannot tell you what the name of the establishment is, whether it is an antique shop, a pawn shop, or whether it might be any other sort of shop for that matter. There have been lawn mowers, a carousel horse (if memory serves me correctly), generators, various pieces of furniture, and even a popcorn machine on one occasion. For several weeks now there has been a large safe moored there, front and center, with its heavy front doors wide apart. Cast into the wheels at its base is the name of the manufacturer, the Marvin Safe Company, New York. An internet search revealed that Marvin Safe did business during the middle of the nineteenth century. Through a series of mergers and acquisitions Marvin became associated with the Diebold company of North Canton, Ohio. Today was the first time I stopped to examine the safe up close. Its details were beautiful. The heavy side doors are embellished with colorful landscapes similar to the circular one on the inside door shown below. I was struck by the care taken and attention paid to manufacturing something that was functional, well made, and pleasing to the eye. Whatever happened to this approach to manufacturing?

12 thoughts on “Safe

  1. Ahhh … that gorgeous 19th century sense that the stuff we own should last … that we should buy something only once in several generations … I love the shadings of blue under the gold and cream (?) stenciling.

    • Yeah … where did that ethic go? I think you and I know that the approach to manufacture which requires that we purchase multiple-somethings in our lifetimes is an overt strategy. Thanks for the comment this morning – very much appreciated (but, you know that). J reports on your good works … congratulations. D

  2. Great photo find – do go inside and get us a report if it’s worth it! I’m curious now, also!
    Inspires me to go out and see what I should photograph in our basement/attic/stores to reveal some of that craftsmanship that you are highlighting!

  3. What an amazing piece! I can’t imagine you haven’t been inside. If I lived closer, I’d volunteer in a minute. You really do seem to find fascinating things all around you!

    • You’re the third person to suggest I should venture inside. As I indicated to one of these other folks – the place is indeed ‘unusual’ and I’ve been a bit hesitant. Perhaps now I’ll work on the courage to venture forth! Thanks for your continued support. D

  4. I asked myself the same question during a recent visit to a museum filled with beautiful old vases, cooking implements, and furniture. I guess they don’t make ’em like they used to, and yet they cost more! It really bothers me how quickly modern (and expensive) implements wear out … sometimes I think I’d gladly trade convenience for truly sturdy, elegant belongings that last.

    • You know … I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone inside. At least, I’ve never poked about to see if there was anyone inside. Truth be told … it’s kind of an ‘unusual’ place … I’ve actually been a bit hesitant to go in! Now that you’ve asked, perhaps I’ll work on the courage to explore a bit more.

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