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NW3

Modern Alarms, Camden: algae

Modern Alarms "Modern Alarms" burglar alarm, Camden • As you can see, I'm posting a run of these clear-capped Eurobells at the moment. Not only does this have the logo both above and below the lid, there's a circuit board and an algae farm sandwiched between them, which is somewhat distracting. • Spotted: Frognal Way, Camden, London, NW3, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn
Modern Alarms, Camden: algae

Robot, Camden: serf

Robot "Robot" burglar alarm, Camden • And finally, the ultimate computer: a 1980s New Romantic-style robot. (I know I've included Robot before, but this is a slightly different logo.) Wikipedia pop fact: the word robota means literally "serf labour" in Czech. • Spotted: Well Walk, Camden, London, NW3, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn
Robot, Camden: serf

Telecom Security Direct, Camden: striking

Telecom Security Direct "Telecom Security Direct" burglar alarm, Camden • Now we move from tronics to telecoms, also quite a popular technical trope. The word Telecom gets bandied about quite a bit, so not sure if this striking old sounder is the same firm as the later Telecom box featured here• Spotted: Flask Walk, Camden, London, NW3, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn
Telecom Security Direct, Camden: striking

“Decorum”, Camden: genteel

Decorum Alarms "Decorum Alarms" burglar alarm, Camden • Surely the most genteel name for a burglar alarm firm ever, and appropriate for the decorous Hampstead borders where I found it. Should belong in a posh little sub-genre with Kudos from Bath, which featured right at the start of this blog, and which has the same type of clock-radio-alike sounder. • Spotted: Finchley Road, Camden, London, NW3, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn
“Decorum”, Camden: genteel

“Simply Quality”, Camden: scrolled

Simply Quality Security Systems "Simply Quality Security Systems" burglar alarm, Camden • I love this – the utterly boasty claim "simply quality", with a faux woodcut of a ribbon-bound scroll of excellence. Being a sad old graphic designer, I actually recognise it as a bit of early 1990s computer clip-art, no doubt intended for graduation invitations. • Spotted: Finchley Road, Camden, London, NW3, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn
“Simply Quality”, Camden: scrolled

Brick ghost alarm, Camden: clean patch

Ghost burglar alarm (brick), Camden • While not as rare as yesterday's pentagon, the sharp-cornered hexagon is still a giveaway shape, most likely to have once been beneath an ADT sounder or, if older, a Modern Alarm (not that I've featured any hexagonal examples of those yet). This box must have been there quite some time to leave such a clean patch, so maybe it was indeed a Modern. • Spotted: Gayton Road, Camden, London, NW3, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn
Brick ghost alarm, Camden: clean patch

Eyed ghost alarm, Camden: screwy peepers

Ghost burglar alarm (eyed), Camden • Nearly a year ago I featured some ex-burglar alarms, which as I explained at the time, come in two forms: ghosts, where they’ve been fully removed, leaving just a mark on the wall; and skeletons, where some casing remains. Then I focused on skeletons, so now I'm posting some ghosts. Some are more recognisable than others, as the only clue to their brand is the shape and a few screw-holes, which here look like eyes. The sounder was clearly round one, so a Thorn or an AFA Minerva perhaps. • Spotted: Finchley Road, Camden, London, NW3, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn
Eyed ghost alarm, Camden: screwy peepers

“Aegis”, Camden: magical fashion item

"Aegis" burglar alarm, Camden • "Under the aegis of" is commonly understood to mean "under the protection of", so like yesterday's Argus, this is an unusually sensible mythological name for a security device. In ancient Greece the Aegis was a protective breastplate or cloak, originally a thundercloud invoked by Zeus, and later the skin of a divine goat worn by his warlike daughter Athena. Her exclusive over-the-top haute couture version was a golden snakeskin extravaganza, generally depicted as covered in scales and fringed with tinkling tassels or writhing serpents, all fastened with the severed head of Medusa, the scary snake-haired Gorgon. The idea of the magically protective Aegis caught on and spread to Egypt, Rome and beyond; and 2,500 years later the Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace made his fortune by taking the Medusa-and-snakeskin look to improbable extremes, though it didn't protect him from being murdered on his Florida doorstep in 1997. The Aegis can also take the form of a Medusa-faced shield, so the shape of this alarm is very apt, as well as showing that Aegis is under the aegis of Banham, whose proprietary sounder this is. It's somewhat let down by the obscure Aegis logo, which is like a red pyramid with a lighting bolt through it, possibly representing an A and an E. But surely a severed Gorgon's head would have been better? • Spotted: Finchley Road, Camden, London, NW3, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn Above: The Aegis as hot ancient fashion item. Left: The classic over-the-shoulder Aegis cloak as modelled by Athena in a Roman copy of a Greek statue, "Athena Cherchel-Ostia" (c.400 BC), from the Louvre, Paris. Above right: the Aegis worn in casual cross-body style on another Athena statue, "Athena Lemnia" from the Staatliche Museum, Dresden. Note the Gorgon Medusa's head, a popular decoration appropriated 2,500 years later by Gianni VersaceBelow right: An Egyptian-style Aegis, on a Nubian bust of the goddess Isis (c.300 BC) from the British Museum, London.
“Aegis”, Camden: magical fashion item