Companies incorporated for the purpose of receiving upon deposit, for storage and safekeeping, stocks, bonds, and other valuable papers, money, bullion, jewelry, household gold and silverware, and such other valuables as it is considered wise, not only to store beyond the risk of fire, but also of burglars. Such companies are supposed to have very extensively built vaults, furnishing sufficient protection for these purposes. In addition to storage room for valuables of a more or less bulky nature, these companies have what are known as safe deposit boxes, the rental of which really constitutes their principal business. In these boxes, which are of various sizes, the rental varying proportionately, may be kept investment securities and valuable papers. The access to such a box is obtained by the lessee possessing a key, which will only unlock the box after a previous unlocking of the same by an employee of the safe deposit company, who has what is known as a "master key," neither one being able to effect an entrance without the other. The necessity for this safeguard is self-evident. It is very customary, also, for the customer to be given a password, which, in case of doubt upon the part of the employee as to the customer's identity and right to seek entrance to the box corresponding in number with his key, he may give the password, which must be found to correspond with the records of the company before doubt may be removed.
Advice to all investors and owners of securities cannot be too strenuously urged in regard to the renting of safe deposit boxes, and to further impress this advice upon such persons, reference is here made to another part of this book: viz., "Care of Securities."