#FINDMEFRIDAY: Telegraph Fire Alarm Pull Stations (Hereford & Newbury Streets)

Congratulations to Abby Fowler for being the first student to tweet a selfie from the March 30th #FindMeFriday location!

A little about this week’s location:

They are all over the city, but we rarely notice them. But, when you do, it is hard not to be fascinated by the design and technology behind the Telegraph Fire Stations found on street corners through Boston. As explained by Eric Levenson in a Boston Globe article on October 7, 2014:

In 1852, Boston took a major technological step forward. It became the first city in the world to use the telegraph as part of a municipal fire alarm warning system. Fire alarm boxes, placed on street corners, promised to electronically send alert messages to officials far quicker than the old method of, well, yelling. Boston paved the way for towns and cities across America to begin using the fire alarm boxes, putting the Hub at the forefront of innovation. here

Now, 162 years later, Boston still relies on 3,462 telegraph-based alarms to alert the fire department. In an age of cell phones and satellites, the telegraph lives on in these red relics.

My favorite at those with the gaslight lamp fixtures on top, as featured in my #FindMeFriday photo.  To read more about these “red relics” you can read Levenson’s full article by clicking here.

What was disheartening to learn is that of 90% of the alarm pulls are false. So, while I encourage you to search for these during your Boston adventures, do not let curiosity lead you to break the law. You can rest assured that even though they are over 160 years old, they work and the fire department will respond.

Go see your City, my friends…and when you do, look for the small things that often go unnoticed!