About Us | Our History

 

 


Our History
From building and installing the first municipal electric fire alarm system using telegraph wires in 1852 to developing self-programming, networked, and sophisticated voice evacuation systems, Gamewell-FCI’s history in rich in industry firsts and technological advances.


1800s
1852
In Boston, MA, Dr. William Channing and Moses Farmer develop the first, practical fire alarm system using the telegraph system to pinpoint the location of and communicate a fire alarm.
 
1854
Dr. Channing and Mr. Farmer apply for a patent for the “Electromagnetic Fire Alarm Telegraph for Cities”.
 
1855
John Nelson Gamewell, a South Carolina postmaster and telegraph company agent, attends Dr. Channing’s lecture on the Fire Alarm Telegraph at the Smithsonian Institution.
 
1855
John Gamewell purchases the regional rights for marketing the Fire Alarm Telegraph in the south and southwest United States.
 
1859
John Gamewell purchases total rights to the Channing and Farmer system.
 
1865
After the Civil War, the U.S. Government seizes the Fire Alarm Telegraph patents and auctions them off.
 
1867
John F. Kennard of Boston purchases the Fire Alarm Telegraph patents and returns them to John N. Gamewell, forming a partnership. Kennard and Company is established in Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts to manufacture the fire alarm system.
 
1879
Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph Company formed with John N. Gamewell, proprietor with the fist holding lightning bolts as registered as trademark.
 
1886
Gamewell systems installed in 250 cities across America, and in to Canada.
 
1890
Gamewell systems installed in 500 cities. New factory opened in Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts.
 
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1900s
1910
Gamewell holds 95% market share.
 
1962
The Pittway Corporation founded in Chicago, IL.
 
1976
Fire Control Instruments (FCI) founded in Newton, MA.

The FC72 Conventional Control Panel—FCI’s first conventional control panel—produced in Newton, MA
 
1989
FCI introduces the FCID—their first addressable control panel.
 
1994
Gamewell pioneers SmartStart™—the industry’s first self-programming, analog addressable fire alarm control panel.

FCI introduces the 500 Series, their first release of analog devices from System Sensor.
 
1997
The Pittway Corporation acquires FCI.
 
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2000s
2000
Honeywell acquires The Pittway Corporation. Fire Control Instruments (FCI) becomes Fire Control Instruments by Honeywell.
 
2002
FCI develops two-wire fire alarm technology.
 
2003
FCI becomes the first fire alarm company to introduce broadband technology to the fire alarm industry.

Honeywell acquires Gamewell to create Gamewell by Honeywell. Production moves to Northford, CT. and Masterbox assembly moves to Westwood, MA.

FCI manufacturing and administration functions relocate to Northford, CT. Engineering, Customer Support and Marketing functions relocate to Westwood, MA.
 
2005
Gamewell and FCI unite, creating single entity named Gamewell-FCI. The Gamewell-FCI product portfolio is combined, providing distributor partners a broad portfolio of products to satisfy the large majority of applications, from the simplest to most sophisticated fire solutions.
 
2006
Gamewell-FCI develops the E3 Series™ and becomes one of the first companies to receive UL® 864 Ninth Edition approval.
 
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