Whippany Fire Department / Civil Defense Siren
Copyright 2014 by Joseph F. Krygoski
Whippany Railway Museum
Federal Sign and Signal Corporation Model C3 1/2
7 1/2 Horse Power Motor
3 Phase - 220 / 440 Volt - 60 Cycle Motor
Total Units Bought New 1951 (3)
Remote Operation Control via NJ Bell Phone Line (Verizon)
This Siren was originaly installed across from 9 Reynolds Ave, Whippany, NJ in 1951. It was relocated to Hanover Township's Bee Meadow Pool Parking Lot in 1969 and remained in that location until the Spring of 2013 when it was donated to the Whippany Railway Museum.
The siren would blow eight cycles with each blast lasting about five seconds.
|The first responding volunteer firefighters would use the police phone located inside the fire station. The officer on duty or the Magee family member would give them the information as to the type of fire / emergency, and location.|
As the town grew in population and new housing developments went up after World War II, the need to alert volunteer members in outer-lying parts of the town needed to be addressed.
Two more sirens were added in late-1951, one pole-mounted siren located across from 9 Reynolds Ave and the third pole-mounted unit sited near the Salem Drive School on the Water Department's water storage tank property. These new audible signals provided the necessary coverage for the next twenty years.
|During the Cold War-era and the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, the sirens were also used for Civil Defense.|
|The siren would sound one very long blast lasting about five minutes.....a very fearful warning for everyone who remembers those uncertain times.|
|The only time the siren was a "welcome sound" was for school children...alerting them of the much loved "Snow Day"!|
The Board of Education would decide if weather conditions were too dangerous and closed school. Parents would listen to the local radio station (WMTR 1250 AM ) or wait to hear the siren blow at 7AM.
These sirens were tested every day at 5 PM, and the test signal was used by many local families as time for dinner. Many kids would race home so as not to be late when the whistle blew!
As technology with radios, pagers and cell phones advanced, the needs of the siren or Fire Whistle was diminished. Once members were able to be contacted via radio signals, the sirens were eventually taken out of service.
|One siren still is active in Whippany, at Fire District 2 on a "limited basis" and is located on a pole next to the Whippany Fire Station at 440 Route 10.|
Air Raid Siren donation to Whippany Railway Museum