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beestonboxer

Gas Attack Siren ? any ideas

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Recently purchased this siren not 100% sure of age or its use , i have been told it could have been used as a gas attack siren during ww1. I am only aware of wooden clackers and whistles being used to warn of gas attacks . i have taken to pieces no markings of any kind It does however make a clacking sound (very loud)when you turn the handle a wheel with cogs on it rotates clicking on to a thin piece of metal.

Has a heavy brass fixing plate on the back . hope the picture comes out ok . Any ideas very welcome

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Hello beestonboxer, and welcome to the Forum.

It looks like a strombos horn, which was indeed used for gas attack (and possibly other) warnings in the trenches. The sound would carry further than a whistle or a conventional football-supporter's rattle.

Ron

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Thank you for the welcome and the information given . It certainly would be louder than any whistle or rattle i havent heard of a strombos horn before i will have to take a look and see what info i can find on the internet about them .

regards Tim

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Which came first the football fans rattle or the gas rattle? What I mean is was the football rattle used before WW! or were ex gas rattles used post WW1.

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Probaply rattles used first to scare birds from crops -then by Police forces in the UK until the whistle came into use in the late 1800s.

I have only seen 1918 Great War examples- usual gas alarm has been the clanging of metal on metal throught the history of gas, such as shell cases. etc. I have seen both Great War examples and ARP 1930s-40s examples painted in football colours. Regards, Paul.

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This

Thank you for the welcome and the information given . It certainly would be louder than any whistle or rattle i havent heard of a strombos horn before i will have to take a look and see what info i can find on the internet about them .

regards Tim

Tim, This should help:

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=172298&st=0&p=1675641&hl=+strombusentry1675641

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Thanks for the link , think i can safely say what i have is not a strombos horn a very different shape , the workings in mine are mechanical and powered by a hand crank rather than a compressed air cylinder.

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Hi All

Both sides in WW1 used these systems for warnings of gas attack and I believe the distance between each horn was laid down in official instructions. Photos appear on the IWM and AWM collection websites.

I have researched aircraft Klaxon Horns and while most were of the 12 volt electric type a lot of research was going into other types in 1917 and 1918. The research was being undertaken at Orfordness and Butley (which was the acoustic research centre), the items tested included Electric Horns, Mechanical Horns both hand (as in previous photo) and Windmill operated as well as Strombos or trench horns (both large and small) blown by compressed air. In my reading of documents there are mentions that the aircraft 'Klaxon' should not be able to be confused with the sound of the trench 'gas' horn, so they did need different sounds coming out of these devices.

The RFC/RAF used these devices for Contact Patrols, Counter Attack Patrols, Night Flying identification system (also it was tested as an inflight communication device between gunner and pilot on the DH.4), also according to documents from the TNA it also had some uses on the ground at airdromes. This included Fire Alarms, Patrol Warnings and Raid Alarms. So I suspect there were a lot of these sound systems around during WW1.

I hope that is of use.

Mike

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