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An American Fire Safety Immigrant in the Heart of Britain's Establishment 

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I found this old US Fire Telegraph Station in a wall at Eton College today while having a walk in the area.

I can't find a lot online about how it works, or what date is was made. But from the worn casting, its from Gamewell and Co from New York

God knows how it found its way into one of the most British of establishments ?!!!!!

Anyone know anything about this and when/how it got there??



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Although, not sure how it ended up at Eton the links below provide some historical context and hints at how they work and are still in service today.



Not that it helps much but this reference dates the device after 1879. 



These Fire Alarm boxes are also the source of the "Box Alarm" and give me a 2nd Alarm (3rd Alarm, etc.) parlance of the North East USA fire service.  What constituted an alarm was a basic pre-determined attendance for the box coverage area recorded on a "Run card" at the communications centre.


I was lucky enough to get a gamewell fire alarm box (similar to pic below) when they were decommissioned from the nearby air force base for a bottle of spirits.  It is in the middle of being restored.  It still has the inner workings and still taps out 1-6-8.  

Alarm Box.jpg

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This is the list of Gamewell boxes in the U.K.

The following list of existing installations affords proof of an established reputation:-


Location No. of Alarm Boxes Location No. of Alarm Boxes
Wood Green 30 30 Epsom 10
Manchester Ship Canal (now with Manchester) 25 St. Annes 8
Bradford 77 Hampton Court Palace 64
Blackpool 22 Radcliffe 13
Eton and Eton College 7 Wimbledon 23
Edmonton 33 Salford 36
Stretford (now with Manchester) 9 Wanstead 4
Willesden 60 Bromley 18
Wealdstone 7 Cardiff 83
Windsor Castle 35 Croydon 75
Merton and Morden 20 Erith 19
Harrow 7 Southend 33
Bristol  58 Purley 22
Whitley Bay 14 Portsmouth 33
Manchester (total 266 boxes) 266 Ealing 12
    Mitcham 19

More than I was expecting......  http://www.britishtelephones.com/atm/atmfire.htm


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