Hall of Flame
Fire Alarm Systems
On exhibit are four displays of fire alarm
systems. These are:
Gamewell semi - automatic alarm system dating from about 1925. It was
used by the city of Glendale, California.
Gamewell automatic system dating from 1906 and used by the city of Watertown,
custom made telephone based fire alarm system designed and built by the fire
department of Phoenix, Arizona, and used between 1955 and 1975.
A 1925 Gamewell
semi-automatic system from Glendale, California, dates from about 1925.
The operating system includes a non-interfering street box (below right), a
control panel (center), a circuit testing and protection board (next to
street box), a gong (above control panel), and a series
of repeaters using punch tape (left of control panel).
Together with this system is a gong and repeater of the variety found in
fire houses to receive signals from a central station (extreme left).
|Each fire station had a gong and tape
repeater in an area manned by a fireman on "house watch".
Alarms sent from the central station sounded the gong and punched out the
Box 13, for example, would be punched out with one hole,
a space, then three more. Both gong and tape repeater in this
exhibit were made by Gamewell.
Alarms began at the street box like the
This box, made by Gamewell, was used in downtown
Prescott, Arizona for over 60 years.
1906 Gamewell automatic system from a small town in Wisconsin. It
includes a sector style box, an automatic repeater that transmits box
alarms to all fire houses on a system, a combination gong and indicator, a
battery control panel, and a panel that allows the sending of signals from
"ghost boxes" to fire stations throughout a city. The system is fully functional
|A 1950s-1970s era telephone based alarm system
custom built by the Phoenix, Arizona Fire Department.
innovative system includes a switchboard, a control panel for over 100 Gamewell
boxes. two microfiche map readers, two dispatching consoles, several
radios, time stamps, a tape recording system, and a large
illuminated status map board that shows which stations are either on a
run, out of service, or available.
The system does not operate, but has been equipped with lights to allow its
interpretation by visitors.