American Safe & Lock Closes After 100 Years

north main st Now where in the hell are we supposed to buy our vaults? (Always check Benny’s first.)

Barry Fain writes in the January East Side Monthly that the American Safe and Lock Company on North Main Street  — run by the Wolferseder family for generations — has closed its doors after 100 years in business! It was always so cool that this type of operation — a place of utility and heavy metal and keys, and the latest tumbler locks for outwitting safe-crackers — was tucked between trendy restaurants and bars where people now sip appletinis. A handwritten sign in the window says:

To our valued customers: Thank you very much for your business over the years. February 1913 – November 2013.

Also in the news in 1913: Woodrow Wilson succeeded Howard Taft as President; American Civil War veterans gathered in Pennsylvania to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg; the Armory Show opened in New York; and Richard Nixon was an adowable little baby . . . yes he was. Inventions that year included; the crossword puzzle, the zipper, and packaged cigarettes (Camels). So that’s what the early Wolferseders might have been talking about (although they probably didn’t know the Nixons).

Go here for the January East Side Monthly. They also have a great story on the history of the Avon; the cover is a lovely impressionistic oil on linen illustration of the familiar streetscape and marquee by Providence artist Anthony Tomaselli.

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