Bryan History On Display

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During the twentieth century a lot of advancements were made. Things like transportation improved, along with bank security.

Dr. Tom Lynch is the Executive Director of the Brazos Valley Museum. And he said banks have to find something that gave them add security.

"Bank robbers were getting more sophisticated," Lynch said.

That is one reason why the Mosler Safe Company made the Cannonball Manganese Steel Bank Safe. It was the first manufactured timed, overnight safe.

Back in 1890's, the threat of bank robberies caused banks to look for something that would make it hard for them to be the target for a robbery. Made out of Manganese steel, the safe helped several old Bryan banks to do just that.

Lynch said, "It's made of a special tool metal which is impossible to cut with ordinary tools."

Beside that, the thickness of the steel caused the safe to weigh 65 hundred pounds. And it featured a combination lock and a seventy-two hour, programmable timer.

"It makes it impossible to open the safe between the closing hours and the opening hours whether for the night or the weekend," Lynch said.

As big as it may seem, it only had about five cubic feet of storage space. The amount of space allowed the safe to used only to secure valuables like jewelry and cash.

Even though it couldn't hold much, the safe was manufactured up until about 1920. The safe used by Bryan banks was still operational when it was retired for service.

And thanks to Mr. Mervin Peters and Wells Fargo the safe is now a permanent part of the "Old Bryan" exhibit at the museum. Its' mint condition allows a piece of Bryan's history to be secure.