News Flash

Town News and Updates

Posted on: January 20, 2023

"Where Am I?" Answer -- January 2023

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There's an interesting history behind the vault at Town Hall, the subject of this month's "Where Am I?" #MiddletownRI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

CONTACT: Matt Sheley at (401) 842-6543 or msheley@middletownri.com 


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"WHERE AM I?" ANSWER — JANUARY 2023


MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (JANUARY 20, 2023) – The Mosler Safe Co. closed its doors in 2021. 


But that doesn’t mean the Ohio firm didn’t make a lasting impact on the world in its 120 year run. 


According to online news sources, Mosler was an industry standard in safes, not only in the United States, but across the globe in the late 1800s and early 1900s.


Countless banks, post offices, business centers and wealthy homeowners had a Mosler installed like the one pictured above in Middletown Town Hall that protects vital town records and documents as part of the vault system.


Known for its durable, heavy duty construction, Mosler had a reputation for building the finest safes and vaults anywhere. 


That included several Mosler safes put in a Hiroshima bank before World War II survived the atomic bombing of the Japanese city on Aug. 6, 1945.


Mosler played an instrumental role in the construction of the United State Bullion Depository, more popularly known as Fort Knox. Not only did Mosler supply the vault and emergency doors to Fort Knox, it produced the blast-proof doors that weighed more than 20 tons and were each 21 inches plus thick.


The company also was intimately involved with “Project Greek Island” — another secret job at the time. It involved the construction of a nuclear fallout shelter in West Virginia in the 1950s at the peak of the Cold War to protect the United States government should there be an attack on the nation’s capital. Mosler was responsible for the 25-ton vault door to that enormous underground bunker system.


In Middletown Town Hall, the Mosler safe is located in a public area accessed through the Town Clerk’s offices. 


Because the number of records now in the vault — estimated at well more than 100,000 — there’s talk of expanding the repository.


As part of a project performed in 2014, many of the paper records in the vault were digitized and are now available online at https://mdl.town/LandRecords online.


Document Link: https://www.middletownri.com/DocumentCenter/View/6660/WAI-Answer---Vault


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