North Carolina Diaphones

A forum to facilitate discussion amongst Gamewell Diaphone (Fire Horn type Diaphone) enthusiasts.

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Alucepluv
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North Carolina Diaphones

Post by Alucepluv » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:50 am

I'm sure that diaphones in North Carolina were few and far between. To clarify on the one(s) located formerly in Oxford, it was placed there in the 1921 and removed roughly twenty years later according to the town website when a master phone system was put in. I doubt the fire department still has it. Whoever was searching would have been looking forever. :P The site doesn't say how many diaphones the fire department had.

http://www.oxfordnc.org/index.asp?SEC=E ... pe=B_BASIC

I noticed that the user database was recently updated and doesn't include the diaphone in Laurinburg. I'd expect that it is still there, although I've only been to Laurinburg once which was years ago.

Franklinton did have four air horns on their old fire station as well as a Sterling Model M siren. I'm not sure if they were diaphones. I will have to look at additional photos. They were removed around 1989 when the new fire station was built. The siren had locked up and quit working. It was placed in storage but later stolen. I don't know what became of the air horns and system as I didn't join Franklinton FD until 1996. Right now, Franklinton has a Federal Signal Model 7 siren.

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Re: North Carolina Diaphones

Post by Alucepluv » Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:57 pm

Following up...they were not (Gamewell) diaphones at Franklinton. I will have to try and find out what kind of air horns, as I haven't seen them anywhere else I'm aware of so far. I'll check into it more later.

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Re: North Carolina Diaphones

Post by David » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:17 pm

The Laurinburg Diaphone is still in the database. Also I went by there last July. It was still in place. I found it and snapped a few updated pics.
http://www.gamewelldiaphone.com/gallery ... aurinburg/
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Re: North Carolina Diaphones

Post by Alucepluv » Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:53 pm

Yeah, I see it now. It was just the way things were sorted.

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Re: North Carolina Diaphones

Post by David » Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:36 am

The new interface is better for sorting and searching. Have you seen the more recent NC additions? Concord and the Asheville/Biltmore area. I expect there were/are more in NC.
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Re: North Carolina Diaphones

Post by slant-40 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:10 am

According to the 1939 Gamewell catalog that I found on the Gamewell Fire Alarm Facebook page the following municipalities in NC had diaphones (this is as of 1939; some may have been removed and some may have subsequently been added):
Asheville
Beaufort
Biltmore
Canton
Chapel Hill
Lenoir
Lexington
Mooresville
Morehead City
Oxford
Sanford
Statesville
watcher of the Diaphones...

wayne

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Re: North Carolina Diaphones

Post by David » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:15 am

Wayne, does it specifically say Diaphone Installations? I have a lot of old Gamewell literature but most of it just says "systems" or something to that effect. That usually meant a number of things. They had boxes and Diaphones, they had just boxes, they had just Diaphones, they had one of their other related products or any number of those combinations.
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Re: North Carolina Diaphones

Post by slant-40 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:38 pm

The catalog had a section (Section 8 ) on the Diaphone (with the classic ad on the cover page). This list was at the end of that section.
watcher of the Diaphones...

wayne

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Re: North Carolina Diaphones

Post by David » Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:36 pm

Cool, I'd like to see that.
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Re: North Carolina Diaphones

Post by kb4mdz » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:32 am

Crossed over from a FB page of Mike Legeros, fire photog. & former FF, in Raleigh, NC.

Diaphone codes from Morehead City, NC. Unknown date of card.

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Morehead City Diaphone Codes_Legeros.jpg

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Re: North Carolina Diaphones

Post by fyrboy » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:01 pm

Asheville's Gamewell box/bell/gong system served from 1889 until 1987, but neither they nor Biltmore had a Diaphone system. The Town of Biltmore Forest (bedroom community with current population of about 1400 - no businesses or industry), different from, but adjacent to, the Town of Biltmore, still has their Diaphone system, but it was disconnected many years ago. They never had boxes. Fire alarms were received by BF's police department, which sent the alarm by the code wheel corresponding to a predetermined location (phantom box). BF was responsible for protection at the Biltmore House, although the House had its own brigade in earlier times. 63 was the phantom box for the House. Asheville annexed Biltmore & BF in 1929, but BF got the annexation overturned in 1936. Photos below show the BF system as it exists today. The air pressure gauge, transmitter & code wheels on the board are on a wall in the police department. I don't know if the air tank exists. A bay for another pumper was added in the '70's at the opposite end of the building seen & a few firemen were hired - hard to see, but the horn is in the yellow circle. The firemen had the option of becoming Asheville firefighters when BF contracted with Asheville for protection in 1996. One of them is now Asheville's chief. Skyland now provides contracted protection from a new BF station opened about 3 years ago. One of the former BF firemen left Asheville to return to BF as police dispatcher. One of the others became an Asheville arson investigator and another is one of Asheville's Safety Officers. Asheville is now first-due at the House. I have more history if anyone would like the file. I'm at jackramz@att.net.

Another NC Diaphone system removed from service several years ago was Morganton's, with street and phantom boxes. The horn was mounted atop former Station 1 and aimed at the downtown area, with city hall being next to the station. The system was tested daily, except Sunday, with one blast at Noon. One day an alarm was transmitted as the city manager was walking through the parking lot. It startled him so much that he bit his tongue. As a result he had the horn turned 180 degrees.
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horn highlighted.jpg
4.jpg
2.jpg

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