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Ocean Floating Safe Company


SKU: 3157
Product Details

Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from the Ocean Floating Safe Company dating back to the 1920's. This document, which is signed by the company President and Secretary, was printed by Martocci Bros. and measures approximately 13" (w) by 9 1/4" (h).


This certificate's unique vignette features a ship sinking in rough seas. The company's invention - the floating safe - can be seen bobbing in the water as row boats carry survivors.

You will receive the exact certificate pictured.

    Historical Context

    The Ocean Floating Safe Company was incorporated in the state of South Dakota (of all places) by Menotti Nanni, and had production facilities in Chicago. The concept for the floating safe stemmed from the sinking of the Titanic and the Lusitania, as well as the country’s entry into the first World War. With ocean travel becoming more and more dangerous, the floating safe was designed to secure valuables in containers that would withstand water and safely float to the surface.

    The company developed and patented a cylindrical burglarproof, fireproof and nonsinkable vault for installation on board ships - either on a rental or a percentage basis, in much the same way that many of the great safety devices at sea, such as the Marconi Wireless Telegraph, were first introduced into the merchant marine service.

    Made of double steel walls, it was stronger, more modern and more secure than any ordinary safe. The space between the walls was filled with a secret composition hard as cement and as light as cork. It had no air chamber of any kind, and was so constructed that it was marketed as impossible to sink. The cylinder was secured in a tube or well built into the vessel in such a manner that, in the case of accident to the vessel, as soon as the tube was submerged its cover was automatically released by the water pressure and the safes floated out of the tube and remained on the surface until picked up.

    In larger passenger vessels the complete system was so constructed that a separate compartment with a separate safe opened on each deck, each compartment being entirely separated from the others, but still a part of the entire system, permitting easy access in much the same manner as if each deck were equipped with a safety deposit vault.

    The service plan of the Ocean Floating Safe Company was designed to introduce these floating safes to steamship companies in a manner that would insure the steamship company a steady source of income without any initial expense. The company paid for all the initial equipment necessary and furnished the personnel to maintain and operate it continuously, dividing the profits with the vessel.

    The safety deposit features offered the greatest source of income; but the service was also intended to cover mail and valuable express packages in such a manner that a substantial increase in tariffs could be made.