Federal FIRE BALL Family History

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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
More info on the Darley Rebadged Fire Ball.
I have been questioning why there is no label on the dome retaining band as there is on all other Fire Balls. This retaining band is in MINT condition with no scratches or rub marks, and looks like there was no label ever attached or removed. The only markings are the stamped in Darley part and serial numbers. In looking at a number of early 1960s era Darley catalogs, I've come to the conclusion that there was no label. In the pictures there are no labels on many of the products, and in the text, no mention of brand or model names or numbers other than the Darley catalog model number. The headings for the descriptions are vague ("A NEW LIGHT WITH MAGNETIC BASE") for this particular light. Further description is there, but no manufacturer or model reference.
Another Federal light in the catalogs was called "Four Beam Quad Junior" instead of Beacon Ray Junior. No tags pictured in the catalog on this one either.
It looks like they wanted customers to buy from them instead of going through Federal.
By the way, the catalog price for the H573 (Fire Ball) was $37.50, with 3% less for cash.
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
To reinforce the Darley "H" part number described in post 439, here is the tag on a recently sold Darley rebranded Model 15 Beacon Ray Junior with the model # H760
 

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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
Odd # Fire Ball FB13W
This has a pipe mount, and 4 wire leads. The motor and light bulb are separately controlled. It is believed that this is a remote spotlight version of the Fire Ball operated by a momentary switch for the motor, and an on/off for the bulb. The incandescent bulb instead of halogen is so the dome won't be melted in the direction of the spot beam.
Another great piece added to my Fire Ball collection. s-l1600 (2).jpg s-l1600 (3).jpg s-l1600 (4).jpg
 
Hi Dan. Saw it ended. Thought you might get it. Wish I had bought domes in the 80s. Clear is cool and hard to find. Anyone noticed the French black tagged fireball on eBay. Asked the seller. No magnet. Looks like the beat up tag says FBH on it
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
Yeah, the French FBH11 is a good grab. You never see them offered, and this is a good price. I have one with a CIE blue dome, pictured in this thread. Eric6913 also has one. 89854_0fccc2244c980298cb82cbdd3239534c.JPG If you're looking, I'd grab it. You can always find the proper magnet.
 
Odd # Fire Ball FB13W
This has a pipe mount, and 4 wire leads. The motor and light bulb are separately controlled. It is believed that this is a remote spotlight version of the Fire Ball operated by a momentary switch for the motor, and an on/off for the bulb. The incandescent bulb instead of halogen is so the dome won't be melted in the direction of the spot beam.
Another great piece added to my Fire Ball collection. View attachment 207343 View attachment 207344 View attachment 207345
You outbid me. LOL
 

CrownVic97

Veteran Member
Found the Colombo clip on Vimeo. The YouTube Copyright Nazis can't touch this one!
 

CrownVic97

Veteran Member
Thanks CrownVic97 ;) ! My Colombo clip has been blocked by the "copyright" on YouTube :(:mad:
Yeah, YouTube is quite a colossal douchebag when it comes to even short clips of an entire episode of a TV show or snippets of movies. This was posted on a Facebook group for emergency equipment installs and I knew this thread needed it so people could laugh at poor Colombo's confusion :D.
 
To reinforce the Darley "H" part number described in post 439, here is the tag on a recently sold Darley rebranded Model 15 Beacon Ray Junior with the model # H760
I thought that I had commented on this but don't see it. I have a Federal 174 that is a Darley rebadged light. Interesting thing is that this light is in the old-style Model 17 beacon housing with the smaller plastic dome and short skirt.
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
Received my NOS cast aluminum Motorcycle flat mounting adapter plate. This allows flat mounting of a Cycle Signal Fire Ball to the top of the box on the rear of a Harley police bike, (instead of telescoping pole mount). Pictured on one of my NOS Harley Davidson Cycle Signal Fire Balls. I also received a beautiful NOS red lens in the deal. S6306364.JPG S6306365.JPG S6306366.JPG s-l1600 (1).jpg s-l1600 (6).jpg s-l1600.jpg
 
Thanks again for twelve great pages of the Fireball. One thing I couldn't specifically find. About what year did the red dome go from darker red to a little lighter red? I've aquired two FBH11's recently and the second one was noticeably lighter.
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
Ball park 1976 or so, I believe. (could be wrong). The domes were originally unmarked, and most of those were a deeper ruby red although I have a few that are a little lighter. The domes marked F7 were definitely lighter red. The newer version FB11, FBH11 had the domes marked F7.
 
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stansdds

Veteran Member
I think the lighter color domes started before 1976. I, too, have a FB-1 Serial 2A12 with an unmarked, dark red dome and a FB-1 Serial B1 with an unmarked, lighter red dome. I think Federal introduced the lighter red color into the Beacon Ray line about the same time that the TwinSonic was introduced, so that would be 1967-1968. Putting an exact year on it might prove difficult as Federal Signal would have exhausted their existing inventory of darker domes before using the lighter domes.
 
Dan. Do you have the fireball mount they used on Braun Ambulances in the 80s? They mount 2 fireballs to the hood of the Ford E350. Just curious. They came with the rear blacked out.
 

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