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NIST and the Federal Reserve Bank

Vault Test 1920

In 1920 NIST built, then promptly destroyed, a series of reinforced concrete vaults for the Federal Reserve Board. The goal was to determine the thickness of concrete and type of reinforcement that would most economically produce the best burglar-resistant vaults. The test vaults were attacked with explosives, cutting torches, and pneumatic drills. Results of this research went into the design and construction of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York gold vault, which currently houses one of the largest repositories of gold in the world.

Released September 28, 2016, Updated October 19, 2016