Mosler Vault Door at the Federal Reserve Bank

September 11th, 2018, 8:00H · Topics: Around Town, Business, Interior · Print

There was no note with this print from the Loyd Sandgren collection but it was located among a binder of photographs clearly marked and captioned as images of the “New” Federal Reserve Bank which opened in the early 1950’s at Church and Hogan Streets in downtown Jacksonville. I checked with a contact at the newer Federal Reserve Bank in Jacksonville and they found former employees who worked in the 1950’s building who confirmed that this was indeed one of the Mosler Safe Company vault doors there. I also spoke with a contact who currently works in the the building, which is now the City of Jacksonville Emergency Operations Center and they confirmed that this was one of several vaults still located inside.

The Mosler Safe Company has quite a story. The company started in Cincinnati as the Mosler, Bahmann & Company in 1867 making safes and bank vaults. After some ownership changes and growth the company relocated to Hamilton, Ohio in 1891. In the 1930’s they built the vaults for Fort Knox in Kentucky where the United States stores the countries gold bullion. In checking to see if the Mosler Safe Company was still in business I came across a fascinating article connecting the company to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. After the 1945 atomic bombing of the city, one of the three buildings still standing after the blast was the Teikoku Bank building which was located less than a quarter mile from the center of the blast. Although the building was gutted in the blast and the reinforced concrete shell of the building was badly damaged, the two Mosler Safes inside, dating from the 1920’s survived the blast with the contents intact. A year after the blast Mosler began using this in their company advertising. The survivability of the company’s safes got them contracts to build the vaults for the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of rights in Washington, D.C. and blast doors for missile silos among the many government contracts during the cold war. The Hamilton, Ohio based company went out of business in 2001. The full article can be found here.


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About Photographer Loyd Sandgren

I first met Loyd Sandgren in 1997 as I was putting photo gear back into my car after... Learn More