1938 Marx, General Alarm Fire House in Original Box

1938 Marx, General Alarm Fire House in Original Box

Extraordinary example of Marx's, mechanical General Alarm Fire House complete with both original vehicles, original winder, original fire house with alarm box. Fantastic excellent+ to near mint condition. Combination of tin litho and pressed steel. Also comes with complete original box in VG condition, plus scarce original Marx direction sheet.

Beautifully detailed toy consists of a large red and yellow tin litho base with rolled gray metal edges. The base was lithoed with yellow "pavement" and red "walkways" outlined in black. There's also several directional arrows. On the upper left corner of the base is the General Alarm Fire House consisting of the Fire Patrol and Chief garages. These are tin litho with corrugated pressed steel roofs labeled "General Alarm" and "Fire House". The front of the two buildings are open. At their entrances are lithoed "Patrol" and "Chief" with large white NO CROSSING arrows. 

Between the two garages lies the Fire Department Headquarters building. The rear of the three buildings houses the "Training School" with climbing firemen in training. Doors leading into the buildings are also shown. 

Also included is a red painted pressed steel stake truck rubber stamped "Patrol" and a sedan stamped "Chief". Both have separate, polished tin grilles and wooden tires. Unlike another set I previously found the Marx logo does not appear on either vehicle. 

The Headquarters building houses a clockwork mechanism and alarm bell, while each garage holds an ejection mechanism with spring loaded steel plates. The plates are manually reset and each vehicles is placed all the way inside. A large pressed steel weather vane arrow attached through the roof of the Headquarters winds-up the motor. The Alarm Box on the front right corner of the base has a lever, which, when pulled to the right releases the plates to rapidly eject both vehicles. Simultaneously the Alarm bell will ring. I tested the toy (of course without using the vehicles) and it works just great!

The heavy cardboard box has an attached hinged lid with tucked in side flaps. It was printed all in text although the cover has faded. This includes, the toy name, Marx logo, address, company motto, an abbreviated set of instructions and (most importantly) a checklist of the contents (two cars, one winder, one instruction sheet).

The direction sheet shows detailed illustrations for setting up the vehicles and how to pull the Alarm Box lever. It's only the second time I've found an original directions sheet. 

A second version of the toy was produced in 1939. These vehicles had the Marx logo embossed directly into the metal rather than rubber stamped. 

Size: Base 17" x 11" x 3¼" (not including the winder which is removable). Truck 4½". Sedan 4".

Sold: Nov. 2007

Price Sold: $ 1210


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Subject: 1938 Marx, General Alarm Fire House in Original Box

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