I've only seen pix of those with suction cups, which makes me shudder to think that someone would use one on a vehicle in motion. But Ellis Funeral Home put suction cups on their Jr. when the old-style magnets wore out. They just never understood why it wouldn't stay on the ambulance at highway speeds. They had lost that light once before when it still had good magnets and the eyelet for a sheet-metal screw to hold it in place. Had to be sent back to Federal for repairs. The last time they lost it, the damage was permanent, and they ran the ambulance it was on with just the alternating highbeams thereafter! No siren, either.
That's gotta be another rare one, Dan. I've only seen one of them in red and that was many, many years ago. DoRay had a nice line of lights; and their lollipops were sold all over Texas. But some of the others I've only seen pictures of, or in the old catalogs. Nice find.
Something else almost that bad came from A-1 Ambulance that bought Ellis' last emergency ambulance when they first opened, along with a nice then-new '65 Plymouth wagon that I got to drive on occasion. A-1's owner didn't like local police involvement if he was simply on a medical run, so he wouldn't bother notifying the dispatcher if he had a medical run. He would if it was a trauma situtation...MVA, shooting, etc. So invariably if he was running hot on a medical and a cop saw him, they'd ask dispatch where A-1 was running, and also invariably, the old man would refuse to answer the radio. So if the cop then turned around and followed him, the cop would get an earful at the scene. To make it worse, just to aggrivate the troops, sometimes he'd run with just lights only and never run the siren....ending up dodging traffic here and there; or just the opposite, siren only.
Things came to a head when he and his wife (who was an RN) responded on a call where three teenage boys had been struck by lightening. The oldest of the three took the initial jolt and was DOS. Back then ambulance crews couldn't make the call, but the RN made the call, which she could do, so they left the obviously dead boy at the scene, transporting the other two who had serious burns. The other ambulance service showed up just as A-1 was leaving and they transported the remaining boy. It hit the fan with the city that A-1 had left the obvious fatality behind because that wasn't allowed. A-1's license was immediately pulled, but the Mrs. stepped in telling the city that she had made the call and could do so. That got them back on board, but they began to see the "writing on the wall" and moved out of Midland less than a year later. Politics!
Something I forgot to mention on this post. When A-1 first put that Plymouth in service, the sole warning light was a handheld spotlight that had a red lens taped to the front. It was hung from the rearview mirror, and was only steady-on, not flashing.
Some of them that used the smaller incandescent bulbs were not all that effective, but those that used the same bulbs as the lollipops (50 c.p.) were nice enough; and as Dan notes, the halogen models and the strobe models North American produced were nice. Something quite unusual that I saw in the mid-70s in Lubbock was a paving contractor that had their Dietz lollipop lights converted to strobes. Quite bright and effective!
The ones that I saw must've been the remote units, as they didn't look any different than the Dietz lollipops I'd used for years. I didn't know that Dietz made them in strobes back then. Now you tell me! :yes:
I may have asked this before, Dan, but do you know when Federal switched the base styles on the BRs. This one has the flat base, but the two I have the rounded base with three-bolt mount.
The predominantly black funeral home here ended up with Ellis Funeral Home's 1951 Chevy sedan-delivery ambulance in 1953 when it was replaced by a '54 Ford wagon. The Chevy came with two clear driving lights painted red on the front roof corners and a Federal 78 doubletone siren on the left fender (which almost cut my right index finger off). The new owner added a red Carpenter light between the two painted reds and a red BR2 with this style base behind the front lights. Not spectacular but nice enough.
As to my experience with that 78 siren, the ambulance had been in an MVA when Ellis still had the car. My dad worked on weekends as a wrecker driver, and the ambulance was on our lot. At 7-years-old I had to take a close look at the fender-mounted siren. I discovered that the rotor would turn slightly by spinning it with my finger; but my finger slipped and it took a hunk out! Dad wrapped the finger in his handkerchief and it was off to the ER: in the wrecker!
That reminds me of an ambulance I once saw between the towns of Navasota and Bryan, TX. Bryan is where Texas A&M is located: known as College Station, TX.
This was in '64 and we were at A&M on a school trip. What I saw was a red '58 Ford station wagon ambulance running "hot" towards Bryan. It had a single red BR2 on the roof and a pair of red bumper lights. The siren, if there was one, was under the hood or behind the grille. Very plain, but it could be seen for a decent distance. But you can compare that to the ambulance I saw in Bryan at Callaway-Jones Funeral Home. It was a then-new '64 Mercury wagon with twin Mars FL8 lights on the front corners with a B&M CS8B siren in the center; a Sireno "hill light" behind the siren and a pair of big red Unity lights on the bumper. Quite a difference between two small towns like that.
Just received a nice NOS Trippe FF/P beehive light with a blue dome. Got it through this board and it's very nice. I was surprised, however, because I thought it was a magnetic model, not permanent. Nice light, and I should be able to find a magnetic for it. I don't have pix yet, but I think the original ad with a picture of it is still here on the board.
Need help identifying this "beehive" light (no markings, of course, except for on the fresnel glass--Corning)
It was roof mounted on North Oldham (County, KY) fire departments first "fire truck". It was a 1950 ford flatbread with a 1,000 gal. tank (un-baffled) and two 2-stroke portable pumps, 2 Indian tanks, 500' of 2 1/2" hose and 200' of 1 1/2" hose...straight pipe nozzles, of course.
It looks like the same lights KSP used on their cars in the late 40s, early 50s before the FedSig 17 came along in 56. Which would make sense as the truck was built at the LaGrange penitentiary....
They're one of my favorites. Back in the day, I can even remember these lights being the primary warning! Things were quieter and traffic was less congested. In rural areas, you could see these a long way out because there weren't all the different lights out on the highway then as there is now. And, most of them are glass... I like your green one. Taxi cabs in Milwaukee had green ones on the roof in the late 60's-early 70's so I remember, when I visited the big city. Another favorite are still the 4-way flashing lights under the beacon domes like the McDermotts and the Tri-lite QF-1's. Old school is still cool school.