This speaking trumpet (megaphone) was used by Chicago Fire Department Chief John Artley during the Chicago Fire of 1871.
This speaking trumpet, or megaphone, was used by Chicag Fire Chief John Artley during the Great Fire of 1871. At the time, the city's fire department still operated under the Board of Police rather than as a separate agency. The department was understaffed with only 185 firemen and, despite owning the latest technologies, unprepared to properly handle the conflagaration. The fire began the evening of the 8th and burned for 36-hours. It destroyed three and a half square city miles and killed 300 Chicagoans.