Mosler Safe Company

The Mosler Safe Company was a manufacturer of security equipment—most notably safes and bank vaults—from 1874 until its bankruptcy in 2001. 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.[1]

Mosler Safe Company
FormerlyMosler Safe & Lock Company
IndustrySecurity equipment manufacturing
PredecessorMosler, Bahmann & Company
Founded1874; 148 years ago (1874)
  • Gustave Mosler
  • Fred Bahmann
DefunctAugust 3, 2001 (2001-08-03)
FateBankrupted, acquired by Diebold Inc.


The company was 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 Bahmann. The family left 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 in 1891, it relocated to Hamilton, where it remained until its bankruptcy. Mosler, Bahmann & Company remained in business until around 1898.[2]

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[3] and bought most of the original company in bankruptcy court a few months later.[citation needed]


Mosler's safes and vaults were renowned for their strength and precise manufacturing. 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.[3][4]

When the U.S. government began building bunkers and silos during the Cold War, Mosler became the contractor for blast doors. One of them, installed at the Atomic Energy Commission's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, weighed approximately 138 tons including the frame. Mosler built the vault formerly used to display and store the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Mosler also built the gold vaults for the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox.[2][5] Despite the weight, each 58-ton blade could be opened and closed manually by one person.[6]


  1. ^ David Endres (1936-12-19). "Mosler Safe". Retrieved 2013-07-01.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ a b "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.
  4. ^ "Mosler and the Cold War". Archived from the original on 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2013-07-01.
  5. ^ Tim McKeough (18 November 2015). "From Financial Guru to Brooklyn Ceramist". New York Times. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  6. ^ Elliot Carter (6 March 2017). "Found: A Miniature Working Model of the National Archives Vault". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 21 September 2020.