View Full Version : Early Sireno J18 6 volt. What year or years was it made???

Doug Wardenski
05-19-2016, 02:51 PM
Hi, last week I got my first mechanical Siren it is an early Sireno J18 6 volt. I have determined it is complete. It is not missing a front cover/nameplate or screen. That is how these were made. It was originally all black most of the paint is gone. The model tag is all brass was screwed into the back of the aluminum front area with brass flat head screws. The model tag says SIRENO model J18 volts 6, serial 74211, New York City. On the back behind where the motor is enclosed the numbers 1 or 4 38 space 2 are embossed into the metal. Some information I have gathered so far is its a more rare Sireno for two reasons, the large holes on the stator one of the only sireno's made with the holes that large and second no front cover/nameplate. Just that embossed style front. I was told it is worth between 150 and 250, that it is indeed an early J18. Doing research what I have found for the J18'S so far is they made my 6 volt model. A 12 volt model with the exact same front was also made but with some subtle difference, more than likely later but not 100% sure and then a later 12 volt model J18 was made which did have a front cover/nameplate and screen. Some information I was guided on but has not been verified for sure is that a patent was taken out by Sireno in 1934 for that design with the large hole's on the stator. Most cars started using standard 12 volt batteries in 1955 before that they used 6 volt batteries. With that information I have come to the guided conclusion mine was made between 1934 and 1954 (however I do not know that for sure it is just an educated guess with the information I was given. I am trying to verify this information, or if it is incorrect what year is my sireno or around what year if the specific year cant be determined)? and then they made the 12 volt J18 which is nearly the same but has the more modern looking mounting bracket. Then later during the 12 volt era they made a J18 with a front/screen nameplate cover. The way this siren is designed it was made to be very loud most likely one of there loudest sirens made. I hooked it up to a small 12 volt lawn and garden tractor battery and this thing gets so loud it is off the charts. It sounds just like an air raid alarm and by my estimate you can easily hear this siren within out-least a 2 mile radius no problem. It really whale's.
My biggest question is still not knowing for sure what year or time period this was made does anyone out there have a definitive answer for when this siren was made if not the exact year the years these 6 volt J18'S were produced.
Second I would like to know what type of emergency vehicle it most likely came off of. (We know this siren was built to be as loud as possible).
Around here in New Jersey in my area and most of the state Fire trucks were red even in the early days. The police force used mainly motorcycle's in the early 1900's and then switched to all black cars mainly fords when cars became standard. Is it likely this siren was on an early black police car?
Lastly knowing it has the rare front design with no actual cover/nameplate until the later 12 volt one's were bade in most likely the late 50's and 60's and seeing as though how large the holes on the stator are for this and this being the only siren with holes this large on a Sireno other then the loud Sireno K8 which was made much later on and rivaled the federal Q. Was this Sireno's loudest siren until the K8 or ever and what was it's primary purpose vehicle or where it was used?
Again the most important thing I am trying to find out is what year this siren was made, all other information will be helpful but knowing it's age is currently the most important thing to me. Thank you. I will attach photo's of my 6 volt J18. Pictures of the restored 12 volt J18 I found on the internet along with the later 12 volt J18 with cover which was also restored and on the same site as my style 12 VOLT J18. Thanks for any information about my Siren. I will make a you tube video of my siren in action as soon as I can take it someplace secluded and let it whale!
First photos are my 6 volt J18, the second set photos are of a restored 12 volt J18 somewhat newer then mine (most likely) for cars with 12 volt batteries as you can see by the mounting bracket which was the normal bracket used once the company had become established later on as you can see there are subtle differences between the two. Lastly 2 photos of the more modern 12 volt J18 with a cover also most likely from the late 50's early 60 for vehicles with 12 volt batteries. The other two sirens were examples to show the different J18's made and the difference compared to mine and age difference.











What year or around what year was mine made (the one pictured first up top with most photo's)? Thank's for looking and any helpful information.

Doug Wardenski
05-20-2016, 05:48 PM
I have been given information that my 6 volt J18 may be a 1953. However I believe that is incorrect. 1953 would make sense for the 12 volt model since vehicles were beginning to switch over to 12 volt batteries and were standard by 1955. I also believe the J18 that was made with the front screen and name plate is most likely late 50's early 60's when they redesigned the J18. The J18 eventually became the RJ18 which was a completely different design that had signals within a chrome plated siren. However mine is the 6 volt with the much older style mounting bracket vs's the newer style bracket used on both 12 volts shown. I was told mine was an early J18 and a patent for that design stator was originally filed in 1934. For that reason. I believe mine is made anywhere from 1934 to 1954 give or take and I believe mine is most likely 1930's everything so far and all the information given points towards this, however I have still been able to get this fully verified. If anyone has any further information or can help to back up my theory I would appreciate it and like to hear what people know about my early J18. Thank you!

John ED Renstrom
05-21-2016, 12:51 AM
I sure that you will find that 53 automobiles are all 6 volt. 54s were 12. by 55 there were no 6 volt cars by any manufacture. the unfinished sirens were under hood behind the grill style modals. no since in spending money on something that wasn't going to be looked at. your best bet at finding out age my be with the fire truck crowd. these were used on a lot of fire trucks. not vary many ambulances were equipped with them.

Doug Wardenski
05-21-2016, 01:08 AM
I'm trying, dating this thing is very difficult because little information is left on Sireno. Sireno began in 1908 back then there sirens or horns were 6 volt. I know in the 70's the company was sold changed hands twice and was dead by 1985 there name was officially expired with the government in 1992. So far one person has found a patent for this design siren for 1934. Back then vehicles were still using 6 volt batteries. They made that 12 volt but as you can see it has a more modern style mounting bracket. Then they changed the style altogether and made a front screen. My guess is the 12 volt that looks like mine is 50's and on and the one with the screen was late 50's early 60's. Mine right now the consensus is 1930's but it has not been verified for sure. If anyone out there can decode that serial number or the numbers stamped onto the steel in the back and date this thing that be great if not. I can only guess that it's 1930's but could be 30-40's its still up in the air. Thanks for the information about the batteries.

Doug Wardenski
05-21-2016, 01:27 AM
I think your right these definitely were not made to turn peoples heads with there looks but with there sound as this is a very loud model. If you look closely at mine the mounting bracket is actually to the side on the siren in correspondence with the model tag. Since basically all the paint is worn off it is very likely this was mounted sideways on the undercarriage or somewhere inside the engine from the side. Either dirt and elements kicked up and slowly peeled the paint off or it was near somewhere hot and the paint wore off. Either way I agree this siren was made to be hidden out least the earlier models before they came out with that front name screen model. Thank you

John ED Renstrom
05-21-2016, 01:38 AM
the different bracket was a under hood design also. it did not have to look pretty just work and be easy . 53 down is 6 volt 54 up 12 and 24 volt is military. if there is no date stamp you may not find out more then that yours was built some time prier to 1953 but most defiantly before 1903. they were mass produced to be sold for profit. good luck in your quest.

Doug Wardenski
05-21-2016, 02:08 AM
The serial number on the model tag is 74211.
On the back of the siren where the motor is the number's that appear to be 133 2 however it may be 433 2 the first digit is right by the screw and very hard to make out for sure are stamped into the steel, if that helps....
We have determined its an early model J18 as well by the mounting bracket, if you look at the mounting bracket on the two 12 volt models pictured after my 6 volt model, they both have that more stylish modern mass produced mounting bracket that many different model sirenos have mine has a mounting bracket so far only found on mine. Mine is one large cross bar with a thick piece of aluminum in between making it flush to the round motor case and has two holes to be bolted down. John Dorgan said it was an earlier model but was not able to give me a time period as of yet. Another gentleman had the patent for my design and also thought from the look of its mounting bracket and a few other thing's most likely 1930's but the mounting brackets are completely different. The two 12 volts are the same and they were made some years apart but mine was most likely made much farther apart with that type bracket. Still not set in stone as to a date with that info. But maybe those numbers stamped into the steel or the serial number will help get this thing more closely dated? 133 2 and serial 74211
The 12 volt with the same front as mine has a more stylish mounting bracket. The 12 volt with the screen has the same mounting bracket as the 12 volt however the screened model says Kearny New Jersey the older style say New York City. My model tag was screwed in with brass flat heads, the model tag on the 12 was tapped on as well as was the later screened 12 volt.

James Fischer
05-21-2016, 02:53 AM
May I inquire as to why the manufacture date is so important to you ?

Doug Wardenski
05-21-2016, 02:57 AM
Because I want to know what year it was made. Why do you ask?

Doug Wardenski
05-21-2016, 03:05 AM
the different bracket was a under hood design also. it did not have to look pretty just work and be easy . 53 down is 6 volt 54 up 12 and 24 volt is military. if there is no date stamp you may not find out more then that yours was built some time prier to 1953 but most defiantly before 1903. they were mass produced to be sold for profit. good luck in your quest.
The issue I'm having with you is you keep using the years they changed bateries to try to date the siren with absolutely no other proof or info to the contrary. We know its an early J18 they started making in 34. You can clearly see mine is made much different then the 12 volt models that were made in the 50's. I and a few others would disagree that siren being anywhere near the 50's. Other then battery change over period do you have anything to date this siren. See you contradict yourself because the 12 volt has the stylish bracket yet its the same siren. Also again Sireno began in 1908 in NYC. At some point they moved operations to Staten Island NY and eventually Kearny NJ. After being baught out they started having stuff made in North Carolina. Anyway we now have it 90% pinned down its from the 30's just waiting for final verification. Again serial 74211 and 133 2 stamped into the metal to anyone that can help verify it. Thank you.

Doug Wardenski
05-21-2016, 03:11 AM
May I inquire as to why the manufacture date is so important to you ?

If you did not know the years of your cadillacs, you would nit want to know. Same philosophy. If we can keep this to people with actual factual knowledge of the siren it would help. Thanks. I want to know a bunch of thing its year or decade, what vehicle most likely on or known to be on. More about the rare only one with no actual front cover was it indeed the loudest and the only design with the holes in the stator that large as so far identified. Is it more rare saught after then others. (I love mine keeping it. In the process of getting a 3rd series now made in late 50's early 69. These are indded super loud as loud as the air raid alrm on the pole down the road. One mean loud siren. Awesome design.

Paul Steinberg
05-21-2016, 09:30 AM
Mounting brackets were often made by manufacturers to accommodate the vehicle that the siren was going to be installed on. You can't date a siren by the mounting bracket, unless you know exactly what vehicle that it was designed for, and then, it will only apply to the first year of that vehicles design.
As an example, I have a number of sirens that are all alike, with the exception of the bracket. Some of those sirens, you can actually identify the body builder, because the mounting bracket was made specifically for that body builders vehicles. Others used a generic bracket, since their cars were very similar.

Doug Wardenski
05-21-2016, 02:41 PM
Oh good God. I'm not here to argue about mounting brackets, infact I'm not here to argue with anyone anything not when they switched batteries, which I already know was 1955, nothing you can start picking away at every little thing and argue it, it doesn't tell me what the D.O.M of my siren is. I just want to know when the siren was made. The 3rd Sireno with the screen, the later one. Has its model tag right on the mounting bracket. I am talking about the part of the siren that was made by the manufacturer not an after market mounting bracket that was made by a separate company or bought after to mount this thing. The part of the siren that was specifically made by sireno (all parts in photo) mounting bracket, motor shell motor, stator they whole thing. That is Sireno. Not Sireno JJ bracket co. It's sireno you can see they made bolts holes into the motor shell perfect with the big thick lead or aluminum making it flush that you can see had the same paint as the rest of the siren, that is all sireno, made by sireno fitting together like a puzzle perfectly made by Sireno. 12 volt models those are Sireno mounting brackets as well. They are a part of that siren they were made in the plant with the siren, they also made switches and control boxes for these sirens, sireno did it all as well as federal, sterling, etc. Sireno didn't have another company make there bracket, wait to put there make model and manufacturer on the bracket after. The brackets are Sireno. The mounting bracket on my 6 volt is way older. The standard mounting bracket's I've seen on many many Sireno's, which are exampled by the 12 volts. My mounting bracket (made by sireno) is completely different. Check out this 1948 catalog of Sirenos made and pictured to sell with there said mounting brackets made by sireno 1948 they looked a lot closer to the 50's 12 volt then my 30's 6 volt thats doing a pretty good job dating http://i458.photobucket.com/albums/qq304/fyrboy1/Sireno/Sireno1.jpg These were not just mounted where you could not see them either as proof with the version with the screen. But the older design those are the only Sireno's ever built not to have a full front cover other then the ones with horns. I have already got information that it was an early J18. Why would John Dorgan say early if it was closer to the 50's when they redesigned the siren in the 50's there are other subtle differences to my siren vs that 12 volt that's show it was an older one. I just want a year or a decade okay? Here is an excerpt from someone who has done some homework on these.
I have a thing for Sireno's. I have a 1970's light, and 1954 Siren and a 1940's siren. I have tried to find history and compile history and dates on Sireno products but there is very little out there to go on. Your siren is unusual in it's design for Sireno. The only time I have not seen a screen on the front saying "Sireno" is when it has the large bell on the front. It may be yours originally had one. The single openings on the stator is unusual, even in the 1910 ads all of their sirens show double openings. I do have a 1934 patent of a siren design that shows a single row of stator openings, so they did make at least one design like that. It appears that Sireno began about 1908 as that is when they patented their name and trademark. during the 1910's they called the sirens "Horns" and they were used as we use horns on cars today. At some time, and I don't have the date handy, it was determined that these type of horns would only be used on emergency vehicles. The only other clue to a date on your siren is it being 6v. Most vehicles were 6 volt until about 1955 so it is no doubt earlier than that. If I had to make an educated guess I would say 1930's based on the above mentioned clues.

Now unfortunately I have got zero help from this site so fora, it appears general car guys just don't know much about this stuff. Contradiction to good information I've gotton, questions like why do I want to know my sirens year and stuff about mounting brackets. Can anyone out there help me with this.

It is stamped 133 2. Is it possible January 1933 second day or 1st Day, 1933, February?


Doug Wardenski
05-21-2016, 02:49 PM

Appears to be 133 2 or 138 2 or 438 2. 1938????

Doug Wardenski
05-22-2016, 02:29 AM
You tube video's of the Sireno J18, 6 volt serial 74211.
Long descriptive version:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bE8cYcImP4
Short let it rip version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooUAP1lw394

Doug Wardenski
05-22-2016, 02:35 AM
Any idea what the 32 volt model was for? Next page of thread I posted an ad by Sireno dated 1948 and they made 6,12,24 and 32 volt sirens. 32 volts, a tank?

Doug Wardenski
05-22-2016, 05:40 PM
Sireno made sirens available in 6,12,24 and 32 volts in 1948 (advertisement dated 1948) when car batteries were still using 6 volt batteries as the standard.
See advertisement above.

John ED Renstrom
05-22-2016, 11:57 PM
32 volts was standard farm voltage in those years. the tank would be 24 volts.

Doug Wardenski
05-23-2016, 01:00 AM
Thank's, I found out ships as well. :pee_smilie:

Kevin O'Connell
06-12-2016, 08:43 PM
Doug, the numbers on the motor have nothing to do with Sireno. Your motor is a late model Autolite MBB, made from 1958-63 and sold as late as 1965. Autolite (later Prestolite) manufactured this motor specifically for sirens. It wasn't unusual in the early sixties for someone to buy a 6 volt siren as a lot of 6 volt vehicles were still in service.

By the way, your mounting bracket is home made. The correct Sireno bracket was patterned after the B&M 132N bracket.