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Preserving History & Tradition

5218 South Western Avenue - Chicago, Illinois

Currently the Museum is only open on the 4th Saturday of each month, excluding December. Click here to see a calendar of upcoming open houses.

Currently the Museum is only open on the 4th Saturday of each month, excluding December. Click here to see a calendar of upcoming open houses.

Joker Stand

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     In its heyday, the Joker Stand was the heartbeat of the Chicago Fire Department. All communications between the Fire Alarm Offices and the Firehouses were sent over this ingenious multi-function electrical system.  


     Various additions and modifications were added, but the purpose remained the same, redundant reliable communications.


     Companies were dispatched on various grades of alarms, upgrades were transmitted, and company returns to quarters were part of this system for 94 years.


     In addition to communications between firehouses the system was used to keep track of what all companies were doing at all times.


     The system included 4 redundant paths of communications, in order to circumvent failure.


     Come into the Museum and experience life in the firehouse as you listen to a 2-11 alarm fire that is communicated through this fascinating piece of history.