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ID# 053146

OLD “SIEBE GORMAN” - Air Pump - Fire Siren – ENGLISH

VISTA, CA 92081
United States
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I am offering an original (not a reproduction) English Fire Siren. In the early 1800s, this basic unit (no horn) was developed as a double bellows air pump providing air to a Firefighter’s smoke helmet. The foot pedal was depressed to pump air. Some of this air was added to the second spring tensioned bellows which helped maintain a constant air flow. When a Firefighter went into confined areas (ship holds – mines - etc.), they had a lifeline attached and used a code based on pulls of this line allowing the helmet wearer and pump operator to communicate. These simple commands are indicated on the large brass “code of signaling” plate attached to the top of the pump. Three orders were initiated by the helmet wearer and one by the pump operator. In the early 1900s more efficient air sources were being developed, so the company attached a large brass horn to the pump and marketed the unit as a Fire Siren. Assembled, this siren measures 27” long x 12” wide x 30” tall, and weighs 25 pounds. The manufacturer’s brass tag is still attached and the serial number 1062 has been stamped into the wood base. This English company was originated in 1814 by Augustus Siebe who invented and patented the first smoke helmet and pump. The company became internationally well known for developing the first deep-sea helmet in the mid-1800s. Based on the design, materials used, and exceptional quality this particular unit was likely built in 1941, which was the year their Lambeth District of London plant was bombed and they moved to Chessington, Surrey. It is my understanding that this company continued to produce these because they were so unique and very collectible. I added this rare item to my collection in 1980 and have enjoyed displaying it over the years. All the necessary maintenance has been done including treating the leather bellows to keep it as functional as possible. This unusual artifact is a prime example of innovative British Craftsmanship. Additional Nautical Items Available - Please Call Cliff @ 760-809-5720 For More Information.
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