Monday, December 10, 2012

The Safe of Herman Detloff

A while back I posted on an unexpected find that connected an embossed bottle with a company that made safes.  These sorts of odd linkages are all around us.  Consider how, on a recent visit to a pharmacy that was closing down shop, I saw this:

It is of course a safe, and a massive one at that.  The legend at the top indicates that the first owner was a Herman Detloff.  Hermann was a pharmacist from about 1870 until his death in the 1890s.  The store continued under other management after his death. Indeed, it will be ongoing at a new, modern location inside the major grocery store in town.

Like all pharmacists, Detloff doubtless sold the "Safe Cure" products put out by a certain H.H. Warner.  As it happens I have an embossed bottle from Detloff too.
Taking a closer look at the Detloff safe we can spy, somewhat worn but readable:

The asking price on day one of the sale was $500.  I am pretty sure it will go way down on day two.  Being of the sort that just has to explore I went down into the basement.  Directly underneath the safe there was an upright steel I-beam put into place to keep the darned thing from bending the floorboards and eventually falling through.  I am willing to bet the sellers would throw the girder in for no extra charge, but when I ponder the logistics of hoisting this monster into my modest abode I sadly conclude that cool though it is, this would not be a bargain at any price.....

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