Development of a large air raid warning siren began after the pearl harbor attack of 1941,in which there was no system of warning the public of an impending air raid.
Various designs were experimented with by Bell Telephone laboratories and they eventually produced a siren capable of 127db at 100ft.They met with chrysler corporation and a deal was made to produce the Chrysler Bell-Victory Siren which had a straight 8 cylinder engine and a 2 stage compressor unit.
352 of these units were produced at the Jefferson Avenue plant in Detroit and were sold to various cities throughout the USA and were used during WW2.
With the threat of the cold war approaching,a warning system was again needed.The 1952 chrysler air raid siren was an improved version of the WW2 siren,fitted with Chryslers brand new 331 cu. in. hemi engine producing 180hp and a more powerful 3 stage compressor unit capable of 138db at 100ft distance from the siren.
Several hundred were produced between 1952 and 1957 by Chryslers Marine and Industrial division in Trenton,Michigan and sold at a cost of $5500 each to cities throughout the USA.Most cities continued to test them once a month in the infamous "duck and cover" drills until the mid 80s when they were taken out of service.
A couple of dozen of the sirens still exist in their original locations today.most are complete although in bad condition due to being exposed to the weather for the last 50 years.
There are 6 or 7 sirens known to be owned by individuals and several are in running condition.
HISTORY OF MY SIREN
My siren was a typical "backyard" find in the outer suburbs of Los Angeles.In May 2009 a deal was made for the siren and it was brought to its new storage place, The American Military Museum in So. El. Monte,California.
The siren was very complete and original and only missing the turntable and some of the data plates.After a few weeks of checking it over and preparing the engine it roared to life.
Over the next few months it was taken to a couple of shows and generally "had fun with"!In November 2009 it was completly stripped down for a complete restoration.It made its fully operational debut at the Fort MacArthur Museum Air raid event in febuary 2010.
The restoration is continuing as of July 2011 with finishing touches such as wiring,relays and guages.