History of the Bank Vault

Did you know that one of the earliest known versions of a safe dates back to the 13th century BC? Found in the tomb of Pharaoh Ramesses II, this ancestor of the current modern safe was designed as a series of wood locking mechanisms on a small box. It seems, regardless of the century we live in, humans have always tried to create ways to protect the things they find most valuable.

25-ton door, safe deposit vault, main office, Old Colony Trust Company, Boston, Mass.] | Library of Congress

Our 1900s Inspiration

Of course, the vaults that we hand-craft at Fort Knox have a more modern inspiration. In the 1800s and 1900s, the Bank Vault — also known as the strongroom — reigned supreme as the ultimate safety against burglary and theft. These large vaults were normally located in the basement of a bank, hotel, post office or library. As bank robbers (think Bonnie and Clyde) became more skilled and less cautious, vault technology adapted to the changing outside world. Vault builders of the 20th century introduced steel-reinforced concrete as the standard form of construction. The walls of many of these vaults were more than a foot thick, making them weigh in at hundreds of pounds and be virtually indestructible.

american made fort knox safes safes


The Modern Vault

There are quite a few differences between the vaults of today and those of the 19th century.  Modern safes are much lighter, thinner, and more affordable. Nor are modern vaults confined to one location. Safes like the Fort Knox Spartan or Maverick can be moved throughout the home, garage, or office for the optimum location. However, with the transition from large bank-style vaults to home safes, some manufacturers cut corners where the integrity of the safes is concerned. The highest quality modern safes mesh the best features of the old with the best features of the new to create the ultimate vault.

A prime example of this is Fort Knox’s 2S Crane hinge and the fire protection layers of hydrogen bond fireboard. Traditional bank vaults had similar hinges to the 2S Crane hinge, which allows the vault door to fully open away from the safe for the best accessibility. However, the development and addition of the modern hydrogen-bond fireboard, which was not available in previous centuries, protects valuables significantly more in the case of fire than the modern vault’s predecessor.

The Perfect Upgrades 

Today, safes have become common for personal use. While we recognize the average person probably doesn’t need a whole bank vault located in their basement, most people have valuables, collections or firearms that they wish to secure within their homes. Because we recognize that each owner has their own needs and priorities, Fort Knox offers the highest level of customization through our Vault Builder. Design everything from your levels of fire protection to the inside organization to the outside finish. 

We’ve got all the options you’ll need to have the highest security with the best quality craftsmanship available in the safe industry. Contact Fort Knox and get started on building your home vault today. 

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    Fax: 801.226.5493
    993 North Industrial Park Rd.
    Orem, UT 84057

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