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photo of fire alarm system The artifact is the central station unit of a Gamewell fire alarm system. It was used at TVA’s National Fertilizer Development Center in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

The unit was built by the Gamewell Fire Alarm and Telegraph Company in 1902. At that time manufacturing plants and large commercial buildings used electromechanical fire alarm systems that, when activated, printed out the location of a fire and summoned firefighters.

Today simple smoke detectors have replaced these ornamental and well-crafted devices.


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