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Fire Call Box

In early times, leather buckets filled with water or sand were the first defense against a dreaded fire. By the early 1900s, fire alarm boxes such as this one alerted the fire department to the need for immediate assistance. When the lever on the box was pulled, a signal was transmitted to central headquarters. There, a paper tape was punched with the box number's location. Units such as the horse -drawn fire wagon shown here then raced to the fire. Three fire companies served the Sheridan-Kalorama; Engine Co. 9 1624 U Street NW (from 1895), Ladder Truck F, 1338 Park Road NW (from 1907), and Engine Co. 21 1763 Lanier Place NW (from 1908).
Artist: Michael K Ross
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