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Looking to identify a Gamewell fire alarm box

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  • bburkie
    replied
    I've been at a few fires where we got the box and had the fire out before the alarm company called to report the alarm. I'd say they're just as good today as they were in the past. We still use them and require that they be installed on new buildings. If I owned a building I'd definitely have a box installed on top of central station monitoring.

    Leave a comment:


  • DeputyChiefGonzo
    replied
    Originally Posted by tree68 They were the right technology for the time. Time has passed them by.
    Originally posted by NY911Bowhunter View Post
    Vehemently disagree.
    My city used to have a hardwired fire alarm system. In the mid 1980's the system reached its capacity and the City went with radio boxes and central station monitoring and phased out the hardwired system. There is nothing like hearing the sound of the old tapper and bells signaling an alarm... it's like music to one's ears!

    FHJ718...

    Go figure. the "powers that be" state the fire alarm box system is archaic and isn't needed because of cell phones.. yet the BPD can get away with making new instalations of their own systems....

    Leave a comment:


  • NY911Bowhunter
    replied
    Originally posted by tree68 View Post
    They were the right technology for the time. Time has passed them by.
    Vehemently disagree.

    Leave a comment:


  • FWDbuff
    replied
    Downtown Emmaus, Pa. still has an active Gamewell system.

    Leave a comment:


  • tree68
    replied
    Originally posted by nameless View Post
    The fact that time has passed them by is what gives them new use today. We have seen multiple times how the heavily computer based modern communication systems have failed. When everything else went down, the pull boxes kept working.
    I won't disagree. It's their simplicity that makes them beautiful in that respect.

    Maintenance costs notwithstanding, I seem to recall that one reason they've come out in some places is because their usage dropped with the advent of a phone in every house, something that didn't exist when pull boxes first hit the street.

    Cell phones have probably help solidify those decisions.

    The boxes also served as fire department communications. I've heard of aides being sent to pull boxes several blocks from a scene so the run cards would bring in different companies.

    Despite the well-publicized failures of our modern systems from time to time, our current systems do pretty well.

    I still see voice callboxes in various places. Usually they are a local effort - like a parking garage at an airport or a college campus - where the calls are fielded by local security personnel, not a central alarm office.

    Leave a comment:


  • nameless
    replied
    Originally posted by tree68 View Post
    They were the right technology for the time. Time has passed them by.

    The fact that time has passed them by is what gives them new use today. We have seen multiple times how the heavily computer based modern communication systems have failed. When everything else went down, the pull boxes kept working.

    Leave a comment:


  • FHJ718
    replied
    Originally posted by tree68 View Post
    They were the right technology for the time. Time has passed them by.
    I disagree with that statement. We still have them and I've used them myself a few times. The City of Boston claims they are archaic and yet they're installing Police Call Boxes around the city.
    Attached Files

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  • FiremanLyman
    replied
    You need to contact Dave Houseal and his buddies at the Fire Museum in Harrisburg, PA. They are somewhat Gamewell aficionados.

    Leave a comment:


  • tree68
    replied
    Originally posted by nameless View Post
    Its a shame about fire alarm boxes, such a good system, but with a couple of big flaws.
    They were the right technology for the time. Time has passed them by.

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  • nameless
    replied
    Its a shame about fire alarm boxes, such a good system, but with a couple of big flaws.

    Leave a comment:


  • DaFAO
    replied
    Originally posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    Right now, nothing is up!


    Inside the box should be a serial number. There are clubs, that have records on fire boxes, makers, owners, locations, etc.

    You may want to try googling that subject......
    Hadn't considered the serial number. Will give it a shot. Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • CaptOldTimer
    replied
    Originally posted by DaFAO View Post
    What's up...

    I found at a recent fire muster a pretty decent looking Gamewell street alarm box that I bought for history's sake and to display at home. What I'm wondering is if there is some way to identify where the box was in service, and when?

    The box number is still on the front (can't remember it just now), but did certain boxes in certain cities have distinguishing characteristics that might make this piece of history identifiable?

    Thanks; be safe....


    Right now, nothing is up!


    Inside the box should be a serial number. There are clubs, that have records on fire boxes, makers, owners, locations, etc.

    You may want to try googling that subject......

    Leave a comment:


  • FWDbuff
    replied
    It's difficult at best to determine what city/municipality a box came from. If you know who you bought it from, perhaps they may know where it came from???

    Also, using the box number itself, try municipalities around you (I see you are from Columbus Oh..) and see if they had gamewell systems, and if they had that number??

    There is a really good book about street boxes by Paul C. Ditzel called FIRE ALARM! Paul is a renowned west coast fire buff. I have a copy, but I understand it has been out of print for some time and they are hard to get a hold of.

    Also you might try the forums on www.youngstownfire.com

    Leave a comment:


  • DaFAO
    started a topic Looking to identify a Gamewell fire alarm box

    Looking to identify a Gamewell fire alarm box

    What's up...

    I found at a recent fire muster a pretty decent looking Gamewell street alarm box that I bought for history's sake and to display at home. What I'm wondering is if there is some way to identify where the box was in service, and when?

    The box number is still on the front (can't remember it just now), but did certain boxes in certain cities have distinguishing characteristics that might make this piece of history identifiable?

    Thanks; be safe....

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