What is this????

Someone please tell me what this is…


I’m thinking smoke alarm (probably inactive).

Since it is marked 135 deg. F I’m thinking **heat detector **of some type.

looks like an old trasmitter, possibly for a telephone

It is a old eavesdropping device. It magnifies sound.

It is a thermal sensing unit. Patent from June 9, 1959. Attached is a pdf on the patent.

For those who may find the need, here is a link toFree Patents Online. If you have a patent number, they have copies of many of them online. There is a free sign up at the site to view the information.

So it’s a smoke detector. That’s what I thought.

Thanks Stan.

No, it does not detect smoke only heat.

Hmmm, why would a homeowner have heat detectors in all rooms?

I used to have heat detectors in a home (made by Vanguard). This was before I ever heard of smoke detectors. Back in early 70s. I don’t know when smoke alarms came along. The old Vanguard alarms were mechanical bell on a spring that could not be shut off, it had to run down and it would wake the dead.

1959, before smoke detectors.

I remember going through the sales pitch for those. Big round copper colored things. And yes, they could wake the dead.

That’s the one. Somebody is trying to sell some on Ebay.

Smoke detectors did not exist in 1959.

I used to work with fire alarm systems and in one of our buildings that was built in 1960 only had heat detectors but was later retrofitted to add smoke detectors.

6 pack special

Thank you kindly, Gentlemen.

I don’t inspect smoke alarms in Massachusetts and I’m not familiar with the hundreds of different brands out there.


I was a young single Navy man in those days and lived in a mobile home. Well, I saw one burn down one night in about 4 minutes so when the fella came around selling those I bought some and they were not cheap but I figured if anything would wake you up from a night on the town these would. Me and some buddies got to drinking one night and decided to play with one. Huge mistake! You have to use the buddy system to wind the thing up too once it ran down. If anyone screwed up and let it accidentally go it would have to run down all the way again.