Rare Smoke Detectors

I have a big interest in old and rare smoke detectors… From battery powered household alarms to industrial system detectors.

So, here are some rare ones I have found and I am interested in.

ESL 320CX… 120V wire-in ESL smoke alarm from the late 80’s early 90’s

System Sensor 2800TH smoke detector from the early 80’s and beyond…

From 1986… The Pyrotector “Phoenix” series…

Some old Fire-Lite rebranded detectors from 1978. The far right unit looks like a photoelectric Chloride-Pyrotector from that year.

An Edwards 28-- series ion or photo detector. Possibly made in the 80’s?

THIS one stumps me. I have seen these big detectors somewhere, and I know that many companies like ADT and Simplex have slapped their name on it. This picture is from a 1981 ADT catalog. Note the flush mount Wheelock 7002 in the backdrop. It could be an early ESL model.

Welcome back!

Yep, it’s an ESL detector. I have one rebranded by Fire-Lite (SD14B).

I also have the ESL model that came before the one above rebranded by Simplex (4259-25). Dated 1977.

Nice, I’ve always wondered about those two old ESL detectors. They are on my “Most wanted” list. Now, I figure I’d make a timeline of old and rare ESL smoke detectors.

From the mid 70’s

From the early 80’s

From the mid 80’s

ESl 611U/ 611UT (with big silver fixed 135 degree heat collector)

From the mid/late 80’s to the mid 90’s

(These particular models have an exposed photo chamber, so are very prone to getting dirty/giving false alarms.)

ESL 425/445 Series 2 and 4 wire detectors with optional thermal & sounder

From the mid 90’s to present

ESL 429/449 Series Self-Diagnostic 2 and 4 wire detectors with optional thermal & sounder

A little known fact is that ESL also made old wireless smoke detectors, and 120v wire in smoke alarms.

Here is (I believe) ESL’s first wireless smoke alarm from the early 80’s? It is model 353.

And here is the next in the 300 line of detectors. Model 320CX. Came out in the late 80’s and lasted till the early 90’s. About like a Gentex with all the options and relays available.

And finally, here is the present line of 300 series detectors. Model 320ACC. Came out probably in the mid to late 90’s.

The ESL that’s rebranded as Simplex was also made as a 120VAC model - the 706 series. It came in a wired-in (706-2) and a line-cord version (706-1). I have the wired-in version in my collection, it was in my aunt’s house.

Here’s the alarm.

Removing the side ring (below) reveals this test switch and the filters for the photo chamber.

Detector, front cover and side ring.

Main unit. Notice the area that would accommodate the heat sensor.

Here’s the label on the back of the front cover.

ESL also made the 331, which is the battery powered version of the 320 series. I had seen the listing for the 331 in an older Eveready battery catalog and inquired about it on ESL’s site. Not sure if it was a standaloe model or a wireless one like the 353.

ESL also made the 206 which was also rebranded by Gillette, and there was a Gillette version of the above 706.

That thing must be heavy with that transformer and buzzer.

Wow that is amazing! The date code says it was manufactured in 1976 too. A very early rare gem!

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Just thought - the Simplex detectors are also 120V, so I should have said that the ESL that’s rebranded as Simplex was also made as a 120VAC smoke alarm model.

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Yes, I have few rare detectors in my collection. Sorry about the large pictures; I couldn’t figure out how to make them smaller. Anyways, here they are:

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I removed the photos. Please find a way to make them smaller. WAY to large. Thanks.

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You could downsize the resolution or link to a gallery.

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I uploaded those pictures from my tablet so maybe that has something to do with it. Anyways, here are some links to videos of them.

Honeywell TC49A1195-2: Honeywell TC49A smoke detector testing - YouTube

Gillette Captain Kelly 941: Captain Kelly by Gillette model 941 Photoelectric Smoke detector - YouTube

Fyrnetics/Lifesaver 1200: Fyrnetics Lifesaver model 1200 Smoke Detector - YouTube

Testing the fyrnetics: Testing the Fyrnetics Lifesaver 1200 Smoke Detector - YouTube

I’ll see what I can do about the large pictures.

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It’s because of the resolution of the pictures. If you can take a picture in 2 MP instead of 10, it would be smaller.

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Oh, my tablet does all kinds of strange things. Anyways, I went into a house when we were looking at open houses and there was a Mastercraft smoke detector. Mastercraft is a Canadian brand, so they aren’t very common in the USA. NLind on youtube has an identical unit. I believe it was model 52-0256-A. Here’s the link to the video:

Rare Montgomery Wards 84-7 Smoke Detector - YouTube

I also collect old smoke detectors and like the different sounds that they make. I have 9 in my collection, soon to have 10 because the smoke detector in my parents room is over 10 years old and needs to be replaced.

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I’ve seen that detector in the US before also. It was really dirty and had it’s battery taken out… At a cabin at Curry Village in Yosemite National Park.

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Here’s a video of some old (Probably 80’s) malfunctioning smoke alarm. It is a very unique design and I don’t think I’ve seen one before.

[YouTube]Smoke alarm wont shut up after the power went out - YouTube[/YouTube]

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That’s a Square D/Earli-Gard model EGD-5S. It’s a hardwired alarm and NLind has one exactly like it. It doesn’t have a battery backup so it is odd that it’s still sounding after the power was shut off.

Link to NLind’s video:

Earli-Gard EGD-5S/5B - YouTube

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Has anyone checked EBay recently for vintage/old smoke alarms? That’s where I find most of mine but some of mine are from either my house or my grandma’s house. My aunt and uncle have two of these smoke detectors in their house:

Smoke Alert/BRK SA769AC smoke detector - YouTube

Smoke Alert/First Alert/B.R.K. model SA769AC Hardwired smoke detector

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A few things about the Mastercraft alarm:

#1: I don’t have it anymore, since the person that gave it to me wanted it back. :x

#2: The ones you’re seeing here in the States are most likely Montgomery Ward branded models. It seems that Mastercraft just used the Ward’s cover design. They followed this cover up with one with hinges (pretty much the same time as First Alert and the other BRK brands did). It had the profile of the BRK 83R (i.e. not the tiered design w/ side vents like First Alert or Family Guard models had).

Here’s a video of one, not mine.

Old Smoke Detector at my Grandma's House - YouTube

My brother had one installed in his house, for he worked at Wards at that time. It went off once when they were making fried bread.

For anyone wondering, Montgomery Ward was a department store chain, like Sears or JCPenny.

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The cover design was definitely copied from the Mastercraft. I also think the horn was used. The sensor looks like it was from an older First Alert.

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I am familiar with that ESL detector:

I’ve also seen them rebranded by Edwards, Simplex, Faraday, Autocall and FCI. My college still has one left (with original ESL logo) in an elevator machine room in the Fine Arts building (it used to be a Simplex 4207 system from 1978; now it’s a Notifier NFS2-640.) I think almost ALL the companies offered that smoke detector in some way.

Here’s another really old smoke detector:

A Simplex 4262-series ionziation detector, manufactured by Statitrol in the early 1970s. This one is at the K-8 school I went to for kindergarten, built in 1974 (Simplex 4010 system tied into an old 4208 panel.) I have a 120-VAC version of this detector. But if the school finally upgrades their fire alarm system this summer, I might have that photographed one in my possession soon! :smiley:

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