Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph Company "In 1855 John Gamewell of South Carolina purchased regional rights to market the fire alarm telegraph, later obtaining the patents and full rights to the system in 1859. John F. Kennard bought the patents from the government after they were seized after the Civil War, returned them to Gamewell, and formed a partnership, Kennard and Co., in 1867 to manufacture the alarm systems. The Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph Co. was later formed in 1879. Gamewell systems were installed in 250 cities by 1886 and 500 cities in 1890. By 1910 Gamewell had gained a 95% market share." -Wikipedia
Grand Rapids Fire Department The Grand Rapids Fire Department was founded in 1849 after the Wendell residence on Fulton Street and Lafayette Avenue burned down with nearly all its contents. Citizens approached the village council and demanded a fire brigade be established. That fall, Alert Fire Company Number 1 was established with twenty-eight members.
Since 1849, the Grand Rapids Fire Department has grown to include eleven stations with 221 members across the city.