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General Fire Discussion => Fire Alarm Boxes & Systems => Topic started by: Ed Salsbury on January 14, 2016, 11:21:03 AM

Title: police box year of manufacture
Post by: Ed Salsbury on January 14, 2016, 11:21:03 AM
Good Morning Guys

I have three Gamewell boxes that I cannot id their year of manufacture.

-The first has a serial number of 261402. 
-The second has no number that I can find and I included pics below of it to help.
Thanks
Ed
I will send a second email showing pics of the third box, this one as well with no markings or numbers.
Title: Re: police box year of manufacture
Post by: gls24 on January 15, 2016, 01:23:33 PM
That serial number would point to about 1952.  In the absence of external pictures, it is difficult to attach a time frame.  Are the boxes aluminum (most likely) or cast iron.  You can also look at telephone components for possible dates.  One has to be careful about drawing conclusions from a singular date on a component.....components get switched.  Multiple dates in combination with other styles and appearances can help to narrow down production.
Title: Re: police box year of manufacture
Post by: Ed Salsbury on January 15, 2016, 03:15:13 PM
Thanks GLS24,
Appreciate your information.  I attached an external pic of each box for any further possible  indications of date. 

I'm about to touch up the missing number plate area, hence, taped off.  This mount is tented/convex. I'll be attaching a number plate once I find a matching one.
Thanks
Ed
Title: Re: police box year of manufacture
Post by: Ed Salsbury on January 15, 2016, 03:16:55 PM
Yes, all aluminum, both from California auctions
Title: Re: police box year of manufacture
Post by: gls24 on January 15, 2016, 08:46:04 PM
Ed, those boxes were produced from about 1940 probably into the 60s.  Although they might have been available after that, due to the increase in radio communications, it is unlikely that many were made.  I've given you the 1952 date for the box with the serial.  Since serial numbers weren't applied to equipment after about 1952-53, it is likely that the boxes without serials were made later.  The non-original number plates offer no additional information.  However, the Signaling Systems box (assuming that is one w/o a serial), would probably be early in the post serial timeframe.  The reason is the QA door has a bullseye rather than a rectangular window.  I cannot match up internal and external pictures.  But, the 2nd and 4th pictures show wiring and terminal strips.  The wiring and terminal screws in picture two appears to be older style; that in picture four newer style probably at least mid-1950s.
Title: Re: police box year of manufacture
Post by: Ed Salsbury on January 15, 2016, 10:36:55 PM
Thank you Gary, very interesting, informative and helpful.  Do you know when they changed from glass to plastic for the inside mechanism cover? My 1947 has glass, but the 1952's have plastic. Just don't know if they are original.
Thanks again
Ed
Title: Re: police box year of manufacture
Post by: gls24 on January 16, 2016, 10:52:35 PM
Fire box glass covers changed to plastic at a point not too long after the end of WWII.  Police box covers likely changed around the same time.  I suspect it was a matter of when existing stock was depleted.  So, they are likely original.