Federal FIRE BALL Family History

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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
Added a Different Fire Ball to my sub-collection.
This is a FB15.
It is the Taiwan made version, made for Federal Signal. It is nowhere near the quality as the USA made Federal Fire Balls, but was marketed by Federal as a Fire Ball. Therefore, I believe it belongs in my Fire Ball Sub-collection.
Here are some pics. I'll add some cleaned up pics after I receive the light.s-l1600 (19).jpg s-l1600 (18).jpg s-l1600 (20).jpg
 
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stansdds

Veteran Member
Added a Different Fire Ball to my sub-collection.
This is a FB15.
It is the Taiwan made version, made for Federal Signal. It is nowhere near the quality at the USA made Federal Fire Balls, but was marketed by Federal a a Fire Ball. Therefore, I believe it belongs in my Fire Ball Sub-collection.
Here are some pics. I'll add some cleaned up pics after I receive the light.
I had one exactly like that in the late 1980's. Mine was a "Sun Beam". Mine spun really fast, so I installed a resistor on the motor's positive lead to obtain around 100 flashes per minute.
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
12771492_10207305969760928_3174276570128704161_o.jpg Found this on Facebook page Fire and Rescue Apparatus 25 Years And Older ,The Fame FC of West Chester, PA had this neat 1956 Dodge/Harwick rescue truck. Mattson collection.

Note the Fire Balls as the main roof warning lights.

12771492_10207305969760928_3174276570128704161_o.jpg
 

Clarence H

Veteran Member
The only one I have not seen mention is the last generation teardrop fireball. I think it was made in Japan, or China, and had an dome with a lip on it, and was held down with screws, and not a retaining band.
Clarence
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
I also have a 2A12F2, among the many odd ball serial numbers in my collection. I don't know the significance of the added numbers, but that is one of my quests.
Most of the odd balls that I have are listed in posts in this thread.
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
I can only assume that they were for specific customers or agencies. There are not even subtle differences in the lights. I've stripped all of these down, and see no differences.
 
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Skulldigger

Site Guru
Back in the 70s my VAC in the Rochester, NY area had two type 2 ambulances. Both ambulances had a red fireball mounted on each side of the nose of the van. I may be wrong, but I think that was fairly common back then, at least in the Rochester area.
My very first rig. Two Fireballs mounted to each hood.

Southern 635.jpg
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
Here is a new addition to the Fire Ball History!
How did the name "FIREBALL" for Federal's first portable light come about??
The Fire Ball 1956 was the first major revolving light addition since the Beacon Ray 1948. The "nickname" for the Beacon Ray became the "proper name" for the Fire Ball.
Get a load of this July, 1950 product bulletin, which is now part of my literature collection, and is Federal's first use of "FIREBALL":

s-l1600 (40).jpg
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
Motorcycle version not rebadged as Harley Davidson Cycle Signal.
FB-2 would have been permanent mount base, which also had the three small holes for mounting the cycle pole. M for Motorcycle extendable pole mount. 2A12 for standard guts of that vintage. B1 for motorcycle alterations (no vibration plate under standard light guts).
Probably made and sold to a motorcycle mfg. other than Harley.

Just a note, you have the wrong bulb in there. You have a new Made in China 1195. You should have, for the 2A12, a 1507 with the pre-focused collar which locks under those 3 tabs around the socket.

NICE grab!!
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
Ahhh, series B1. That uses the standard 1195 bulb.
Just FYI, the covers are not Federal, and I believe the box is not for that light.
Your light is in very nice condition. Great grab! One of the best portable lights ever made!
 

Skulldigger

Site Guru
Just FYI, the covers are not Federal, and I believe the box is not for that light.
I knew the covers were another brand. The box was marked FBII after delivery so wasn't sure, but the light is mint. No signs of use. Plus he made me a really good deal.
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
Yeah, the box is marked with the newer Federal Signal brand, not Federal Sign and Signal. Looks like FB11 newer style light box. I can't see the other print on the label.
It is a beautiful looking light, and a fantastic find. As you know, one of my favorite lights!!
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
Good question!
The series 2A12 all had red plugs. The series B1 that I have have red plug, but sometime in the B1 series they switched to black plug. The newer FB11 series all had black plugs.
The switch was Safco's, the cord/plug manufacturer. At some point they stopped using red, and went to black.
The plastic they used, in the red was harder, and more subject to cracking, vs. the more durable black plug that we know today. Progress!
 

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