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View Full Version : Red Glass Lens For Federal Siren


Kurt Arends
12-28-2017, 10:20 PM
In need of a good red glass front lens for a Federal Siren. I am told that all Federal Siren front glass lenses are the same and should be marked H-7843 on the edge. Any leads greatly appreciated.

John ED Renstrom
12-29-2017, 10:46 AM
here is one off a 78. I give it to you but Brendon would not like it:eek:

Paul Steinberg
12-29-2017, 12:49 PM
scarcer than hens teeth.. :eek:

Kurt Arends
12-29-2017, 02:28 PM
How is it that no one has ever reproduced these?? The same lens was used on all Federal sirens, correct? There has to be someone out there that has a connection in the glass industry!

Daniel Scully
12-29-2017, 02:33 PM
How is it that no one has ever reproduced these?? The same lens was used on all Federal sirens, correct? There has to be someone out there that has a connection in the glass industry!

Might try this place? (https://www.procurveglass.com/markets/automotive/)

Paul Steinberg
12-29-2017, 04:24 PM
How is it that no one has ever reproduced these?? The same lens was used on all Federal sirens, correct? There has to be someone out there that has a connection in the glass industry!

John Dorgan was purchasing the red glass lenses from Kopp Glass for many years, in groups of 25 to 50 pieces per order. Kopp would always ship the lenses quickly, and knowing how the industry operates, I explained to him that they would do an "over run", that was equal to the amount of lenses that Federal would order from them, based on a formula of frequency of order. An example, if Federal ordered 500 lenses a year, they might do an "overrun" of 500 or a 1000, so they would have them on hand when they got the next purchase order from Federal, for quick shipment. When Federal stopped ordering the lenses, and transferred permission to Kopp Glass to sell the lenses to John Dorgan, they started pulling lenses from the existing inventory. John never told me how many times he ordered lenses from them, but he did tell me that when they finally ran out, and he asked about having them run them again, that the cost was prohibitive, as well as the quantity. This discussion with John took place a couple of years prior to his death in 2012. I would imagine that if they still have the molds, and someone was willing to take on the project, that they would still be willing to do a run. The downside would be the cost, and the quantity, plus shipping and a place to store them. All told, I doubt that you could make a return on your investment for many years, if not decades. I believe that they were looking for a minimum run of 500 pieces, and the cost was going to be about $40 or $50 each. I told him at the time, that given the number of lenses they were requiring, and the cost, it was designed to discourage him from ordering. I am only guessing, but with his small quantity orders, over many years, they didn't want to get stuck with the glass sitting on there shelve waiting for orders.
If someone wanted, the least expensive way to reproduce this part, would be to do it in a polycarbonate. Even as a polycarbonate lens, it is still going to require a sizable investment in the mold making process, and inventorying the parts till they are sold.
A good example of cost vs. sales, is the reproduction Federal badges. First you have to get permission from Federal to produce them, and then you have to invest in the dies, stamping, etc.. All total if you run 500 badges, you can probably get your cost down to the $2 - $3 range per piece. They are presently selling on eBay for $25.50. You might think that this is a great return on your investment, until you realize how long it is going to take to sell enough pieces to recoup your costs, and after that, you are in a profit making position. For just this one badge, you will have to sell approximately 75 pieces to recoup the $1500 investment cost. After that, you will start making your profits, and you will have the possibility of selling the balance of 425 x $25 = $9410. Garry has done a great job of reinvesting in additional badges, but not all are going to sell out for a very long time, if ever.
Believe me, when I say, that if reproducing the red glass siren lenses were a good investment, John would have done it, and he didn't, based on his knowledge of how many he would use in a year. The reproduction business is fraught with lots of pitfalls, however it can be a good business if you understand it. You also have to have deep pockets to get into it, and also have to wait a long time before you start turning a profit.
If it were easy, or it were exceedingly profitable, a lot more people would be jumping in with both feet. Personally, I believe that there are a lot better investment opportunities out there than reproducing slow moving specialty products.
I know this, because a close friend entered the reproduction parts business over 20 years ago, and it took almost 20 years to sell out of some of the parts. He lucked out, and was bought out by a large reproduction parts supplier. The other thing that worked in his favor, was at the time that he got into the business, the US dollar was extremely strong as compared to the Asian currencies, where the products were being manufactured. This fluctuation in currencies today, can cause you a lot of grief, especially if there are delays in production and delivery. You can avoid this, if you deal with US companies, but you will also be paying a premium price as a result of higher labor costs.