Staff in New Jersey’s municipal building have uncovered a pair of mysterious safes that could be up to 100 years old. The safes were discovered in a vault which is now used for storage and filing. Newly elected Mayor Steve Fulop says that nobody knows when the safes were installed, what they were used for, or which previous mayor ordered their installation.
The safes — one large, one small — are installed side by side in the wall of the vault. A photo made available by Jersey City shows that both safes appear to have combination locking. Both seem to have been made by The Mosler Safe Company, which was largely bought up by Diebold after falling bankrupt in 2001.
Given the city’s colourful reputation, there are rumours aplenty around what the contents might be. One popular theory is that former mayor Frank Hague, who served from 1917 to 1947 and was allegedly involved in corruption, may have used the safes to stash bribes. Hague’s desk still resides in the municipal building and features a special drawer that opened towards visitors to his office, allowing them to leave “donations.”
Previous incumbents could not recall ever taking any particular notice of the safes. Nor were they inclined to try opening them. Former Mayor Gerry McCann, who held office in the 1980′s and 1990′s, said he remembered the safes but could not be sure if they were ever opened.
Mayor Fulop has decided to put any rumours about the safes to rest. The City will be contracting a locksmith to open them sometime next month.
See our articles on floor and wall safes for more information about modern-day products.
For more on this story, see NJ.com, “Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop set to crack city hall ‘mystery safes’“ by Darryl Isherwood.