Duck and cover, those words will be remembered by anyone born before 1960, I certainly do. I vividly remember having drop drills during school for several years.

The local air raid sirens were tested at 10 a.m. on the last Friday of every month as well.

It has taken awhile to realize the few inaccuracies in The Time Machine because for me, the posters, sirens and reactions were perfectly normal. While searching for Time Machine related images through Google I happened onto a web site called as they had a video clip of the 1966 sequence from the film. Seems there are collectors for just about everything, in this case air raid sirens. I learned that the siren shown in the film is a US siren ( Federal Model #5) but the sound is from an English made Carters siren as used during WWII.

The actual alarm heard during an air raid is the rise and fall of the siren as it is being turned on and off at regular intervals. The "all clear" signal is a 30 second constant on sound. In the scene where the Eloi are being called into the sphinx you hear the alarm and although the Eloi tell George it's "all clear" we never actually hear the all clear siren.

I've come to learn that although you may focus your attention on a single subject, Pals' The Time Machine in my case, you inevitably get an education in other subjects. Researching the posters displayed in the 1966 sequence I discovered that they are indeed US posters. A simple test is the spelling of defense, in the UK it's spelled defence.

All Clear

Air raid siren photos and information courtesy of Adam Smith. To learn more about air raid sirens, visit Adam Smith's very comprehensive Siren and Horn Enthusiast web site. Click Here

Additional information concerning the Carter sirens provided by Norman Langdridge 3/2015

On a closer look you can see the McDonald label on the inside of the helmet.

Pictured here is a Federal Model 5 air raid siren. The sound heard in the scene is from an English Carters siren as used during WW II

If this air raid siren was operating, dialog between George and Filby would have been impossible. These sirens are designed to be heard for miles and are very loud.


Note the inside supports for the headband on Filby's Civil Defense helmet match the McDonald helmet below. Scroll down to see other photos of the helmet.

A McDonald Civil Defense helmet which seems to match the helmet carried by Alan Young. Other helmet types have exposed rivets to hold the head band . I bought this helmet on-line. It had several chips of paint missing. I've patched the missing paint and repainted the helmet. I still have to replicate the black W on the front. The McDonald helmets were manufactured in Venice California from 1936 according to the patent information on the label.

Civil Defense poster used in the scene is from 1958, current to the time of production. This is a US poster as the word defense is spelled with an s, in the UK it is spelled defence.

Another US poster

Two Federal model 5 air raid sirens are present in the scene

Carters Castle Castings
Air Raid siren

Two companies were contracted by the British Government, Carter of Nelson, Lancashire, and the other was Gent of Leicester. The siren pictured here is a Gent product, easily recognised by the webbing on the rotor going straight from the periphery to the centre, whereas the Carter design had an angled or swept blade.
This semi restored siren sold on ebay for £880

Police Public Call Box aka T.A.R.D.I.S.
For you Dr. Who fans

A federal no. 5 housing. Photo courtesy of Steelman Hiles

Animation of a Federal no. 2 siren. Same basic operation as the no. 5 model.

Excerpt from service manu

Click on image for larger view.

Click on image for larger view.



If you entered this page from other than our main page
and you are not in a frame set (no page directory on the left)

Click Here

The Time Machine Project 1998 Don Coleman
Web Site 1999 Don Coleman
Web site created by Don Coleman
3727 W. Magnolia Blvd. #240
Burbank, CA 91505