Fireman's Call Box

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1940s Gamewell 6’7” tall x 12” wide x 12” deep (at the base) Fireman’s original emergency call box with red caged light that does light up. This has been restored inside and out and is perfect in every way. When the box was activated by turning a knob or pulling a hook, a spring-loaded wheel turns, tapping out a pulsed electrical signal corresponding to the box's number. A receiver at fire headquarters annunciates the pulses through flashing lights or tones, or via a pen recorder, and the box number is matched to a list of box locations.

The first telegraph fire alarm system was developed by William Francis Channing and Moses G. Farmer in Boston, Massachusetts in 1852. Two years later they applied for a patent for their "Electromagnetic Fire Alarm Telegraph for Cities". In 1855 John Gamewell of South Carolina purchased regional rights to market the fire alarm telegraph, later obtaining the patents and full rights to the system in 1859. The patents from the government were then seized during the Civil War and then, after the Civil War, returned to Gamewell, The Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph Co. was later formed in 1879. Gamewell systems were installed in 250 cities by 1886 and 500 cities in 1890. By 1910 Gamewell had gained a 95% market share. This one still has the early telegraph system inside with the bell (see closeup) so likely c. 1920 - 1930, ending up in Fire Station 79253.

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