Ever see one of these? Me neither. There were three of these in my house when we moved in- one above the front door, one in the basement, and one in the garage. At first I thought, "really weird doorbell thing?" but that wasn't it because the doorbell box is on the staircase wall and there were no wires.
Surprise! It's a fire alarm. A wind-up, heat activated fire alarm. I briefly set one off and it is LOUD. Depending on the model and condition, they go from $10-40 on eBay. If they weren't so darned ugly, I'd consider actually using them. I might stick them back in my basement and garage ( I had taken them down to try and sell at my yard sale) or sell them on eBay. There seems to be quite a few available on eBay so I'd have to undercut everyone to get them sold.
Here is the cobwebby back. They are made by Vulcan, who still make fire safety products today. You can see from the illustration on the back that it is loud.
In preparing my kitchen for a fresh coat of paint in the coming weeks, I removed the fire alarm above the front door. Yes, my front door leads directly into the kitchen (boo). Under the alarm were many eras of paint, from the matte white currently on the walls to a terrible tan, dull sage and avocado green. The sage and avocado might actually be the same but with different levels of dirt. Fun!
As you may be able to tell from the title of this post, I have other historical finds I will share, too. I'm keeping you in suspense.
How about you? Any relics from the past that you inherited? Any layers of paint hovering in your field of vision every day when you leave the house?