It's funny, folks, on a mailing list that I am on professionally, someone is asking for advice on getting an old safe opened. They are in search of safe crackers! Wish I could send Heyes their way.
I've curious - is there any good information out there historically about real safe cracking in the 19th century? I've always noticed that the series was very careless with the dynamite. If you just put naked dynamite outside of a safe, so far as I understand, it would blow harmlessly away no matter now much there was. You would have to have some way of directing the force of the blast toward the door to make it do anything. And even then, blasting a door in sure wouldn't help it to open out, would it? I understand that the famous Heyes way of putting nitro into a safe and blowing it from the inside was very real, except it was powder rather than liquid explosive and it happened later in history.