FIRE ALARM SIGNALING CIRCA 1850

 

Alarm monitoring has been around for well over one hundred and fifty years. In fact, the first monitoring for fire alarm signals date back to the 1850’s when the telegraph was used to send an address / location code to a telegraph office. In 1854 Dr. William Channing together with Moses Farmer of Boston Massachusetts applied for the patent of an “Electromagnetic Fire Alarm Telegraph for Cities”. One year later in South Carolina, John Gamewell purchased regional rights to market the Fire Alarm Telegraph, later obtaining the patents and full rights to the system in 1859. John F. Kennard bought the patents from the government after they were seized post the Civil War, returned them to Gamewell, and in 1867 formed a partnership, Kennard and Co., to manufacture the fire alarm communication systems. The Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph Co. was later formed in 1879.

 

A side note is that this began the first century of costly False Alarms (my post on the cost of false alarms) which continues to this day. Gamewell systems were installed in 500 cities by 1890. To learn more about eliminating false alarms, please read my post: Want Faster 911 Response? Thank you for any efforts in improving central station monitoring and in the reduction of false alarms!

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