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Thread: Mars Lights

  1. #1
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    Question Mars Lights

    Does anyone know if the Mars Emergency Light company is still in business? If so, where are they located?


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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    I think they started in Chicago, but are now in Ohio. Last I knew they didnt have a website, but that was years ago.
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    I would guess you're looking for the ever loved, classic 888
    http://www.indus-tool.com/tri/DCWarning/dcflashing.htm
    Bottom of page

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    There is no substitute.


    Good to see you're still around, ADSN. Thought you'd disappeared!
    Omnis Cedo Domus

    www.hinckleyfd.org

  6. #6
    Forum Member allineedisu's Avatar
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    I thought that Federal Signal and Mars combined several years ago. I may be incorrect on this. I remember someone telling me this.

    Why not contact your local Pierce or Seagrave dealer and ask them this question??




    I found this ifnormation while doing a google search.





    "Search for Mars Signal Light Co:"



    A copy of a cover of a 1940? catalog (WR-5000-A catalog Ė see misc.) shows the address of the Mars Signal Light Company as 5737 W. Division St.; Chicago, IL.

    I contacted Mars, Inc. of McLean, VA (the candy company), and was informed by their personnel and organizational manager, S. A. Heffelfinger, that they have no record of what became of the 'MarsLite Corporation'. She did say that in April of 1933, Mr. Mars and Mr. Kennelly formed a company named the 'MarsLite Corporation', with Mr. Mars providing $1000 of it's working capital. She found a file on it with a large drawing which must have been used to apply for the patent. She also provided me with information about Jerry Kennelly:

    Apparently, Jerry Kennelly suggested using a flashing light for police and fire vehicles to enhance their safety. It appeared that no one was interested in the idea until two fire trucks collided in Chicago with grim results. The mayor suddenly became interested in the concept and the 'MarsLite Corporation' was born. It set the criterion for flashing lights for emergency vehicles until World War II.

    I contacted the Federal Signal Corporation of University Park, IL, and was told that they did not take over the Mars Signal Light Company and were not a subsidiary of it.

    John Blair suggested contacting SPAAMFAA (Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of Antique Motor Fire Apparatus in America). He remembered seeing "Bubble Gum Machines" on tow trucks and various emergency vehicles in the 1980's in Syracuse, N.Y. (in which SPAAMFAA has roots) which bore the slogan "The Light From Mars" and the name "The Mars Signal Light Company".

    Trade-Mark 343,236 for "THE LIGHT FROM MARS" was registered to Jeremiah D. Kennelly on Feb. 16, 1937. A metal plate bearing this trade-mark was attached to the products sold by the Mars Signal Light Co.

    Investigation of SPAAMFAA led me to John Dorgan of the Rusty Bucket Volunteer Fire Company, Inc.; Arizona Territorial Chapter of SPAAMFAA. John provided me with this information:

    The MARS Signal Light Company manufactured many different lights and sirens starting with the model FL which dates back to Kennelly's original patent (US Pat. 1,991,101 cited above). The company simultaneously made both emergency vehicle warning lights and railroad lights. They manufactured both train lights and several types of crossing lights. In the late 60's or early 70's, the operations moved to Naples, Florida and they operated from this location until the company was purchased by Trippe Light Co. The resulting corporation became known as TRI LITE MARS. It is located in Chicago, once again, and is located at 1335 W. Randolph St.; Chicago, IL 60607. Tel. 1-800-322-5250. John goes on to say that TRI LITE MARS doesn't have any information as to the early days prior to TRI LITE.

    Rich Sitler contacted me with information on the address for the company. He listed the phone and fax numbers as well as revealing that the company makes an "888" light used for fire trucks and locomotives.



    I called the company using the 1-800 number. The company identified itself as "TRI LITE INC.". The address is what John and Rich have stated. (phone: (312) 226-7778/fax: (312) 226-5335)



    Information from TRI LITE INC. catalog:

    TRI LITE INC. is made up of the TRI LITE division and the MARS Signal Light division. They also identify themselves as TRI LITE MARS (evidenced by their logo and catalog cover). Their present product line includes warning lights, back up alarms and sirens. Both belt and gear drive rotating light units are available. They manufacture the MARS "888" Traffic Breaker Light which generates a "figure 8" moving pattern which they claim to be the leading fire truck warning light for years. This light is sold in a pedestal mounted unit (TB8-P) or as a flush mounted unit (TB8-F). The catalog specifications state that these units are rated 60,000 (optional 100,000) candlepower. This unit is available with either a clear or red lens. The "888" light is also incorporated into roof bar units.

    From the product line, emergency vehicle equipment is what this company now specializes in. I verified this with their customer service representative.

    Regarding the sale of rotating flashers or strobes to the railroad industry, the representative stated that this may be taking place through their distributors, but TRI LITE INC. has no records of distributor sales.



    This is what I found and the light was first designed by a fireman in Chicago and the Mars candy Co.
    Last edited by allineedisu; 04-13-2005 at 01:35 PM.

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    MembersZone Subscriber cdemarse's Avatar
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    I love the Mars 888
    "Train as if your life depends on it"
    Always Remember *343*

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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allineedisu
    This is what I found and the light was first designed by a fireman in Chicago and the Mars candy Co.
    Wow, how did I miss this before? Very interesting, thanks. That may explain why CFD had Mars lights on all their rigs for years. Not just the 888, but lightbars as well.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

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  9. #9
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    Default Tri Lite Mars

    The Mars products, including the "888" are still being made by Tri Lite Inc. in Chicago. Their web site is www.triliteinc.com and their phone # is 773-384-7765

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    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    Mars lights are AWESOME!
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  11. #11
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    pardon me ...............210 NICE avatar !!!! now back to the thread already in progress.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
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    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    HONG KONG PHOOEY!

    That show was great....too bad there were only like 16 episodes.



    He's the Number One Superguy.

    I wish that I could jump into a file cabinet..........im sure its possible, just not sure on how to get out
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    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    The good news is when your 888 light stops flapping, use a couple of zip ties and secure the gears inside. Then its California legal for your emergency vehicle. (Thats what I did)

    -Bou

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    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CALFFBOU
    The good news is when your 888 light stops flapping, use a couple of zip ties and secure the gears inside. Then its California legal for your emergency vehicle. (Thats what I did)

    -Bou

    For the apparatus right?
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    Default Mars Light Question

    I know that the most popular Mars Light is the Model 888, but I clearly remember that the twin bulb revolving lights were widely used by our local police and fire department in the 1950s and early 1960s. In fact, I have the Mars Light from our 1964 Ford Galaxie fire chief's car. The model is "RB" and has a heavy red glass dome.

    One of the lights I have always looked for was also a Mars product, but had a "cone shaped" dome instead of the typical "Andy Griffeth style dome". I know that these lights existed, but have never seen one on the web or among beacon collectors. Does anyone know of the light I mention? Is there any site which lists the various beacons that were made by Mars?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HFCKNM55 View Post
    Is there any site which lists the various beacons that were made by Mars?
    I always thought the Mars was someone's name until one day I found an old housing for one in the basement of the firehouse and found it labeled as:

    "The Light From Mars"

  17. #17
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Love those Mars lights!! The FL model was being used when I came along and still works well, if you have one.

    Chicago use probably every model made by Mars on all their vehicles. The sirens that Mars made rival the Federal models.

    Go to www.sirenman.com and see what he has. Look at the bottom of his page and click on the archives and see the older lights and stuff.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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