Fire alarm box on post both made of iron and painted red. Post is embellished with ridges, diamond and dot patterns molded into iron. Box has a sloping roof and door on front with raised lettering: Gamewell & Co.-American fire alarm Telegraph Station. 1871 is painted on roof in white, 26 on door also in white.
1871 - Gamewell & Co. - American Fire Alarm Telegraph Station 26
This alarm box was used to memorialize those who died during the Iroquois Theatre Fire in 1903. Until its retirement in 1961, the alarm box was sounded every December 30 at 3:32 PM, the exact moment it had been pulled by Michael J. Corrigan in 1903 to summon help to the Iroquois Theater. The firebox was located on the north side of Randolph Street west of State Street.
This alarm box demonstrates Chicago's recurring battles with fires in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It represents of the type of alarm box used during the destructive Great Chicago Fire in 1871 but also represents the tragic Iroquois Theater Fire. That fire began on Christmas Eve afternoon in 1901, killed 602 patrons, and prompted national ordinances for public buildings. Locally, the fire motivated highly restrictive building codes for theatres that limited the growth of local theatre for nearly a century.