Leadership

Story of Fire Alarm Boxes From the First in Boston

Issue 2 and Volume 123.

Story of Fire Alarm Boxes From the First in Boston Bells, Buffs and Blazes To a Boston fire buff goes credit for the idea which, in 1852, resulted in the first fire alarm telegraph system. The spark, Dr. William F. Channing, a physician, came up with the concept soon after Samuel F. B. Morse devised the telegraph. The first alarm from that system came from Box 57 at 8:25 p.m. April 24, 1852, and the Boston Transcript reported, “So successfully did the new system work in quickly summoning the department that little damage was done by the fire.” Since that time, fire boxes have held great fascination for fire fans and others. Many clubs take their names from the number of the box sounded for a major fire. The story of fire alarm boxes is told in a monograph written by W. Fred Conway, “The Official Antique Fire Alarm Telegraph…

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