Radcliffe Dr

The Fire Tower

CFDHISTORY ---›Companies ---› Support Services ---› DISPATCH

The Fire Tower in Eden Park, 1939-1988.
Photo David J. Jones

Box 1533 at Ludlow & LaFayette. This alarm box had one of the few remaining old style, square pedestals when it was removed from service.
Photo Steve Hagy

The alarm assignment card for Box 1533.
Photo Ralph Stelter Collection

Box 1267 12th & Main. Much has changed along this stretch of Main Street since this photo was taken.
Photo Steve Hagy

This running card for Box 1267 is from the early 1960's.
Photo Ralph Stelter Collection

Once a familiar sight on the streets of Cincinnati, fire alarm boxes were removed from use in 1990 and 1991. Here is Box 4437 at Yorktown Road & Rhode Island Avenue.
Photo Steve Hagy

The intersection of 7th & John Streets looks a lot different today. A couple of vacant building can be seen in this photo from October of 1979.
Photo Robert Keller

This is a typical alarm assignment card that was in use until 1975. 5 engine companies and Squad 1 were disbanded early in 1975 resulting in the need for new cards city wide.
Photo Steve Hagy Collection

Box 6376 at Montgomery and Lester in Pleasant Ridge, the summer of 1971.
Photo David J. Jones Collection

This photo shows the intersection of 6th & Walnut not long before demolition began for the construction of the 5th/3rd Bank building
and the other structure that were built in the late 1960's. The sign over the Fanny Farmer candy store advertises an upcoming auction.
Just to the left of the entrance to the store you can make out Box 1186 which is mounted on an old style, square pedestal with a police call box also mounted.
Photo Pat Holz

Dispatchers Pat Holz (standing), Reinhardt, and Roland Jordey the morning of August 23, 1962.
Photo Steve Hagy Collection.

Box 5922 at Western Hills Shopping Center is unusual in that there is a Truck Company assigned on the 5th alarm. This card dates to around 1960 when the District Marshall's had been renamed Battalion Chief's.
Photo Ralph Stelter Collection

Dating from about 1950, this running card of Box 7652 was issued when alarm assignments were altered so that move ups would not be necessary during a multiple alarm fire. Notice that on this box in Sayler Park that Engines 2, 17, 21, and 24 along with Trucks 8 and 10 are not assigned on the card even thought they are closer to this location than many of the companies that respond. This allowed for some companies to remain in service on the west side without the necessity of having companies make a change of quarters. Engine 25 was designated a night engine and only responded between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
Photo Steve Hagy Collection

White Castle no longer has a restaurant at 6th & Broadway (and their burgers aren't 12 cents either), Monte Cassino wine isn't available these days, and you sure can't pull Box 1189 anymore! A square style pedestal that dates to the late 1800's or early 1900's was being used when this photo was taken. What appears to be a police call box is on a sleeek looking pedestal next to the fire alarm.
Photo White Castle Restaurants

Dispatcher George Snelbaker is on the left taking a phone call, while Pat Holz is on the right pulling a running card so that a box can be struck in this 1948 view at the Tower..
Photo Chip Lytle Collection

You can here the bells hitting as another box comes in. This must have been a busy day in 1948!
Photo Chip Lytle Collection

Dispatcher Pat Holz at The Fire Tower in 1947.
Photo Chip Lytle Collection

The Fire Tower in Eden Park 1945
Photo Chip Lytle Collection

This ad for Graybar Electric Company appeared in the June 1941 issue of Fire Engineering magazine. The ad uses two views of the Cincinnati Fire Alarm Office to show the old and the new.
Photo Case - Shepperd - Mann Publications

Installing the new switchboard at the Tower in Eden Park, November 16, 1939.
Photo David J. Jones Collection

This is the crew from the Gamewell Company installing a new box during 1939. Does anyone recognize the location? If so, please drop us a line.
Photo Steve Hagy Collection

Here is a view of the newly constructed Fire Tower in 1939. It looks like they're ready for the first box to be struck! Does anyone know if the murals are still in the building?
Photo Steve Hagy Collection

There isn't much that looks the same in this photo when compared to today, but this is the intersection of Laidlaw and Paddock in Bond Hill. If you look to the far left in the photo you can just see Box 986 which is newly installed in this photo from 1930.
Photo City of Cincinnati

This photo was taken in 1928 showing the newly installed pedestal and box. The location of Box 628 is the intersection Cornell & Evanswood in Clifton.
Photo Steve Hagy Collection

Things looked kinda rural in Madisonville when this photo was taken in 1928. Mounted on the utility pole is Box 1248 at Plainville Road and Merwin Avenue.
Photo Cincinnati Fire Department

These running cards date to about 1920. Notice the large first alarm response on Box 122. The first alarm assignment Downtown equals the number of companies responding to a 3rd alarm at Box 149 in the East End. Response times were quite long then, even using motorized rigs, and if the closer companies couldn't handle the fire, the building was likely to burn. Notice that at 7th & Main Engine 29 is first due on the 4th alarm! A far cry from today when they are probably first due on the 2nd. Engines 14 & 5 are both on the box now and were a second alarm response then. Of the 17 engines companies listed to respond on Box 122, 9 have since been disbanded.
Photo Steve Hagy Collection

1916 U. S. Motor Truck
Shown here is the crew of the Fire Alarm Telegraph Corps loading a reel of wire. The location is the rear of Engine 6's house. U.S. Motor Truck was a local company and the C.F.D. purchased this vehicle for $2,195.00. The truck was sold on June 16, 1928 for $110.00.
Photo Steve Hagy Collection

1913 Nyberg Shop #C 04
This roadster is similar to the pair delivered for the use of the Assistant Chiefs.
Unlike the Chiefs Cars this beauty has a back seat and is equipped with a spotlight.
Written on the photo is \"Side view of service roadster constructed for the use of the
Fire Alarm Telegraph Department of the Cincinnati Fire Department\". The small tank mounted on the running board
is for the acetylene that is used as fuel for the headlights and spotlight.
Photo Steve Hagy Collection

"The Most Complete Electrical Fire Alarm System In The World" reads the caption on this postcard view of the old fire alarm telegraph office at City Hall.
Photo Steve Hagy Collection