Author Topic: "HP Tel"  (Read 2536 times)

Offline wolff

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 37
"HP Tel"
« on: September 05, 2015, 02:23:09 AM »
Curious if anyone has a picture of or knows what exactly were behind these rear doors marked "HP TEL"

I know these were put in special locations in the 20s/30s where there were high pressure water lines, I have never seen one with the rear door open and whatever was behind it intact, I'm guessing it just had a telegraph key connected specially to the water pumping facility but I'm just guessing.

My post has an openable rear door but the door doesn't have the HP TEL on it and it only opens up into the back of the inner box and it's bracket.

I'm guessing not a lot of these if any still have whatever was behind that rear door originally- still intact.

"HP Tel"
« on: September 05, 2015, 02:23:09 AM »

Offline manhattan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1687
Re: "HP Tel"
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2015, 04:49:28 PM »
I've seen this on alarm boxes and also on some manhole covers.

Offline memory master

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2507
Re: "HP Tel"
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2015, 06:55:08 AM »
Inside the box was a telephone so that requests for increase of pressure from the "High Pressure System" hydrants could be relayed.

Offline 811

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 313
Re: "HP Tel"
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2015, 07:47:31 AM »
The use of Morse Key in the box was to communicate with Dispatcher, and there were also telegraph signals where it was used to increase, decrease, or shut down the High Pressure System which was started automatically when boxes were transmitted in the district.  There was a bell set in the pumping station to receive these transmitted signals.

I have searched for years and found nothing definite on the H. P. TEL. [telephone] system; but believe it was a dedicated telephone link from the box to the pumping station (and maybe dispatchers too) used when conducting tests on the system by Water Department personnel.

An index of Department Orders (I haven't dug them up yet) has the notation that "H. P. Telephone systems in the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Coney Island Discontinued" and this seems to be dated in 1933.  The doors may also have used a key different from the Standard FDNY alarm box keys.

Alarm Box doors with the H.P.TEL. legend have found their way onto boxes in other boroughs, miles away from the boundaries where the High Pressure Fire Service Systems operated.