A Civil Defense Museum wouldn't be complete without a section on warning sirens. This isn't an extensive siren catalogue by any means but I thought I would show some examples of cold war era sirens deployed for civil defense use. Sirens were long used before the cold war to signal warnings of air attack and many other uses but during the cold war virtually every city had a siren warning system to warn citizens of nuclear attack. Today, cities that are regularly threatened with natural disasters (tornados, floods etc.) are still using outdoor siren systems. Most of the sirens that were intended for attack warning only have been taken down or are rusting away pitifully at the top of their poles.
These files are in MP3 format and are about 400Kb to 1MB in size.
All of these sound files were recorded by me and are the property of this web site.
Here are a couple of recordings of the Valley View Texas Thunderbolt siren. I have a page covering the hook-up and overhaul of this siren here on my Valley View project page.Valley View Thunderbolt 1000 Alert Signal File Size 800kb
I had never heard one these until May, 2 2002 when I made this
recording. I was really impressed! They ran it for 2, one minute alert
cycles about 3 minutes apart during their montly test.This siren
was removed and sold at auction in late 2004. See photos of it here
on the ACA Siren Page.
This recording is of the first one minute cycle.
For monthly siren tests the City of Allen would run their old sirens for a 3 minute test. 1 min. steady tone, 1 min. off, 1 min "Attack" (on-off, wavering signal). I split each set of test recordings up into the first minute and the last minute of the test respectively.American Signal - T-135. Allen Texas, Fire Station Number 2 Monthly Test.
This siren was located about a mile from my house. This is probably the creepiest siren I have ever heard. It has the weird of quality of sounding like two completely different sirens starting up at the same time. I'm sure going to miss this monster.This siren was removed and sold at auction in late 2004. See the removal here.American Signal T-135 Steady Tone 1st part of test. File Size 1.8Mb
Scott Yarberry at Sentry Siren instantly replied to me when I emailed Sentry with a question about this siren. He said there were only about 50 of these square horn models made in the early to mid 1980s. They discontinued the square horns and went to the round horn design because the round horns are much simpler to manufacture. This siren was removed and sold at auction in late 2004.Sentry in Alert Signal. Steady Tone. 1st part of test.
The fire personnel at the Grayson County airport were good enough to run up their siren for a short blast for me to record. I'm not sure what type of siren this is. I think it is a Federal Model 3 or 5. It has a slow wind up and the coast down went on for at least 2 minutes. I faded it out at the end since it was just going on and on. You can hear a plane revving it's engine toward the end of the clip.Short blast of Grayson County Airport Siren