Fire Safety Firsts

Harry M. Rider (1899-1995), of Youngstown, Ohio, in the early 1900s invented the first spray sprinkler system and fire detection technology still used in almost every public and commercial building.

He invented devices and systems to protect gun powder manufacturing plants, and developed the "rate of rise of temperature" method of fire detection and sprinkler activation that is present in virtually every public and commercial building today.

As Vice-President of Manufacturing and Engineering for the Automatic Sprinkler Corp., he also designed the fire protection and sprinkler systems that safeguard the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Did You Know?

  • The Mosler Safe Company, of Hamilton, Ohio, designed the storage vault in which holds these priceless documents.
  • Chester H. Pond, of Medina County, invented the first central fire-alarm system.

Find out more...