Bad Inventions: Fire Box, 1938

In February 1938, a new invention was introduced to stop fire alarm pranksters. If a person went to “sound the alarm” they would have to insert their arm into a special compartment to activate the signal dial. Immediately after activating the alarm, the person’s arm was locked in the compartment until police or firemen arrived with a key. It was a good idea to catch pranksters, however, for obvious reasons, a bit flawed if there was an actual fire….

After a bit more research, it sounds like these fire boxes would sit outside of buildings, a more logical location than the alternative. Also the photo looks as if the trapping compartment came off the box so a person could walk away after initiating the signal wearing a rather bulking bracelet. Regardless of where it would be located or the specific mechanics, the firebox was not the best invention the world had ever seen nor was it the worst!

Share the History Love...Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponDigg thisShare on LinkedIn
Similar posts
  • Women’s Machine Gun Squad, 1918 New York City’s Women’s Machine Gun Squad Police Reserves, July 26, 1918. Photo shows Captain Elise Reigner practicing the Lewis Machine Gun which is to be sent to the front. Miss Helen M. Striffler in the side car/rear seat, and Mrs. Ivan Earasoff driving the motorcycle. The killing range of this gun is 2 miles, and it fires [...]
  • Teeing off a Giant Block of Ice, 1926 Dorothy Kelly teeing off on a giant block of ice. The others in the group are Virginia Hunter, Elaine Griggs, Hazel Brown, and Mary Kaminsky, Washington, D.C., 1926. The women are in full flapper style in their bathing suits and bobbed hair. Share the History Love... [...]
  • In Their Words: Edith Sitwell Share the History Love... [...]
  • Pouring the Holiday Liquor Down the Drain, 1927 Attachés of the Sheriff’s office under Capt. James Benton, are pictured as they poured down the drain and out to sea $150,000 worth of liquor seized during the Christmas holidays. The liquor, including imported champagne and other choice liquors, represents 50,000 parties that never were. Photo dated: January 17, 1927. Share the History Love... [...]
  • Christmas Catastrophe, 1906 The title of this 1906 humorous drawing is: “A Christmas catastrophe: Please, sir, the rat entree has escaped and eaten the turkey.” There is a sign above the cat standing near the center of the table which says, “May every cat grow sleek and fat on turkey this Christmas Day.” Share the History Love... [...]
  • Now a bracelet like that would make a very unusual and bulky fashion statement! Hopefully no one ever was seriously hurt when trapped in the fire box during an actual fire! Once again Jess, you write some of the most interesting blog posts I’ve ever read! Keep it up!

    • Zim

      Thank you so much Valerie! I couldn’t find much information on it so hopefully that means no one was ever hurt while using it!

  • Brittany

    This is hilarious, glad this invention didn’t stay stay around!

    • Zim

      I completely agree Brittany!