Warning devices time line - when did they come out

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Warning devices time line - when did they come out

Postby Aaronw on Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:29 pm

Warning devices

1900-1930
Most vehicles were equipped with a gong or bell, these could be manually operated or engaged to operate as the wheels turned. Mechanical sirens became available early in this period, by the 1920’s electro-mechanical sirens were available. Red lanterns were used early in the period. These were replaced by one or more red steady burning or flashing lights by the 1920’s. These lights were usually mounted facing forward.

1930-50
In the early 1930’s moving lights started to appear, there were many introduced that would sweep side to side or flash alternately (wig-wag) to increase visibility. The Roto-Ray also appeared early in this period and by the end of the 40’s figure 8 and O pattern lights were available. Four way roof mounted beacons appeared in the mid 1940’s leading to the Federal Signal Model 17 revolving beacon which was introduced shortly before the end of the 40’s.
Electro-mechanical sirens also evolved during this time ending with the introduction of the B&M Super Chief and Federal Q which have remained standards to the present. Combination siren / lights began to appear during the 1930’s.

1950-70
Improved beacons started appearing in the 50’s and multi-color lights under a clear cover started appearing in the 60’s, the use of multiple colors was believed to be a better attention getter. In the 1960’s the practice of mounting multiple revolving beacons was becoming common. In response to this Federal introduced their Twin Beacon Ray in 1964, this combined two revolving beacons synchronized to flash alternately, a siren and or flashing lights could be mounted between the beacons. In 1968 Federal Signal combined these features under one cover creating the Twin Sonic light bar.
Electronic sirens became very popular during the 60’s largely replacing the electro-mechanical siren.

1970-Present
Throughout the 1970’s other light bars began to appear to compete with the Twin Sonic, most of these resembled the block like Twin Sonic, but in 1977 Federal introduced the Aerodynic, a light bar with much better aerodynamic characteristics. This was followed a short time later by the low profile Jet Sonic. Many agencies continued to use beacons and flashing lights well into the 70’s but by the 80’s light bars were in common use largely replacing the revolving beacon as a primary warning light.
Whelen started to offer strobe warning lights in the mid 70’s and by the 80’s 90’s strobe units were becoming popular replacements for incandescent warning lights. The bright flashes and lower voltage requirements made them particularly popular for smaller vehicles. In the late 90’s LED warning lights began to appear, they offer the low voltage of strobes with more variety in flash patterns and even a steady burning option making them very popular replacement for both strobes and incandescent lights. Whelen offered an LED light bar in 2000, other manufacturers quickly followed with their own products.

Lights
Buck Eye Iron & Brass Works Roto-Ray – 1928
Whiting Warning Light – 1928
Akron Brass Akr-O-Lite – 1934
Mars FL – 1936
Carpenter Master Light – 1937
J.A. McDermott Beacon – 194x
Federal Model 17 Beacon Ray – 1948
“Platter” light – 1948
Federal Propello Ray – 1949
Trio T2 “can” light – 1954
Federal Model 173 Beacon Ray – 195x
Federal Model 174 Beacon Ray – 1958
Federal Model 175 Strat-o-ray “hill light” – 1958
Federal Sola-Ray – 1960
Federal Model FB Fireball (Kojak light) – 1962
Federal Twin Beacon Ray / Visibar – 1964
Federal Model 11 Twin Sonic – 1967
Mars 888 – 1969
Whelen Model 88 – 197x
Whelen Model 5000 Commander Strobe – 1976
Whelen Model 6000 – 1976
Federal Aerodynic – 1977
S&W 236 beacon (2 bulb) - 1978
S&W 436 beacon (4 bulb) - 1978
S&W 8700 light bar - 1978
Whelen Model 8000 – 1978
Whelen Model 9000 – 1983
Whelen LED – 2000



Electro-mechanical siren
B&M Siro-Drift – 193x
B&M Big Chief – 193x
Federal Model 17 – 193x
Federal Model 24 – 193x
Federal Model 28 – 193x
Federal Model 35 – 193x
Federal Model 45 – 193x
Federal Model 53 – 193x
Federal Model 66 – 193x
Federal Model 77 – 193x
Federal Model 85 Doubletone – 193x
Federal C5 – 193x
Federal C6 – 193x
Federal XL – 193x
Federal WL – 193x
Federal Z – 193x
Sterling Model 20 – 193x
Sterling Model 30 – 193x
B&M Super Chief – 194x
Federal Q – 1951
Federal Pulsator - 1963


Electronic siren
Federal PA-1 – 1958
Federal PA-2 – 1958
Federal PA-5 – 1960
Federal PA-10 – 1960
Federal PA-15 – 1963
Federal PA-20 – 1962
Federal PA-70 – 1973
Federal PA-100 – 1973
Federal PA-200 – 1974
Federal PA-300 – 1983
Federal PA-1000 – 1974
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Aaronw
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Re: Warning devices time line - when did they come out

Postby R H on Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:00 am

Would one of the Chiefs please make this a sticky (To keep it at the top), PLEASE???
R H
 


Re: Warning devices time line - when did they come out

Postby Chris on Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:36 am

I will even add it to the main site reference area soon as I can.
Stay Safe,
Chris
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Re: Warning devices time line - when did they come out

Postby Aaronw on Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:19 pm

Chris wrote:I will even add it to the main site reference area soon as I can.


I was hoping to add pics of each but that is definately a someday thing. Still collecting data, how hard will it be to update if you put it on the main site?
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Re: Warning devices time line - when did they come out

Postby pittsburgh collector on Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:33 pm

Great post !!!! Would you consider making this in a pamphlet and selling them ? I'm sure that it will be a good seller for the warning device collectors such as myself. Keep up the good work !!!!


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Re: Warning devices time line - when did they come out

Postby Aaronw on Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:29 pm

I don't know about selling them, but if I ever get to the point of adding photos I could definately look at making a printable version.
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Re: Warning devices time line - when did they come out

Postby pittsburgh collector on Thu Dec 25, 2008 8:42 pm

That sounds great !!!! I can't wait. Keep up the good work. HAPPY HOLIDAYS !!! John
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Re: Warning devices time line - when did they come out

Postby SteveG on Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:17 am

Here's a great reference site with lots of photos of vintage Beacons and Sirens.

The owner goes by the handle of Sirenman.
http://www.sirenman.com/complete/list.html
SteveG
 


Re: Warning devices time line - when did they come out

Postby SteveG on Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:22 am

Here's another excellent website with the history of the Federal Electronic Sirens. It has good photos too.

http://lesliee.sasktelwebsite.net/sirens.html
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Re: Warning devices time line - when did they come out

Postby Jeff_C on Sun May 13, 2012 10:18 pm

Anyone know who made these lights?

http://www.bostonfirehistory.org/shop76ward130.html
(top photo)

http://www.bostonfirehistory.org/shop76ward103.html
(top photo)

http://www.bostonfirehistory.org/shop76seagrave290.html

I know that they were strobe lights, I looked at the archives at the "sirenman" website but never found any match.
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue
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Re: Warning devices time line - when did they come out

Postby GLMFAA1 on Sun May 13, 2012 11:43 pm

They look like Sireno's that's my guess
greg
Stars at night. You see them due to the light traveling from them. What you see is the stars past. If you are seeing a star that's 6,000 yrs ago. Imagine somebody on that star looking at us. They'd be seeing us as 6,000 yrs ago. Which of those two is now?
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Re: Warning devices time line - when did they come out

Postby Aaronw on Thu May 17, 2012 1:26 am

Are you sure they were strobes?

They are the right shape for Sireno beacons, but if you are sure they were strobes than they are probably the Whelen 5000 Commander.
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Re: Warning devices time line - when did they come out

Postby Jeff_C on Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:09 pm

Yeah they were strobes.... They had a pretty weak flash by todays standards, and were replaced by more conventional (and brighter) rotators within a few years.
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue
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Re: Warning devices time line - when did they come out

Postby dm33177 on Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:23 pm

One thing to consider when looking at this list is that Fire trucks are usually in service (in most communities) 20+ years, and often will have their lighting and markings updated.

Police cars, on the other hand, tend to be in service 2-4, maybe 6 years and are likely not to see upgrades in their emergency lighting.

As for ambulances, not too sure where it falls into this question.
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