Federal Signal Corporation

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Federal Signal Corporation
Traded asNYSEFSS
S&P 600 Component
ISINUS3138551086 Edit this on Wikidata
IndustryPublic safety
HeadquartersOak Brook, Illinois, United States
Key people
Jennifer Sherman, President & CEO
ProductsEmergency vehicle equipment, warning sirens and public safety systems
RevenueIncrease$1 billion+ USD (reference: 2018 10K)
Number of employees

Federal Signal Corporation is an American manufacturer headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois. Federal Signal manufactures street sweeper vehicles, public address systems, emergency vehicle equipment, and emergency vehicle lighting.

The company operates two groups: Federal Signal Environmental Solutions and Federal Signal Safety and Security Systems. Federal Signal Environmental Solutions Group manufactures street sweeper vehicles, sewer cleaner and vacuum loader trucks, hydro excavators, waterblasting equipment, dump truck bodies, and trailers. Federal Signal Safety and Security Systems Group manufactures campus alerting systems, emergency vehicle lighting, emergency sirens, alarm systems, and public address systems.

Currently, the company has 14 manufacturing facilities in five different countries.[1]


Federal Signal was founded in Chicago, Illinois as the Federal Electric Company in 1901 by brothers John and James Gilchrist and partner John Goehst, manufacturing and selling store signs lit by incandescent lamps. By 1915, they began manufacturing and selling electrically operated mechanical sirens (such as the Q Siren and the Model 66 Siren). During this time, Federal Electric came under the ownership of Commonwealth Edison, eventually becoming a part of the utility empire of Samuel Insull.[2]

By the 1950s, the company was manufacturing outdoor warning sirens, most notably the Thunderbolt series, primarily intended for warning of air raids or fallout during the Cold War. Many of these sirens have been removed, but some still operate in tornado siren systems. Longtime engineer Earl Gosswiller patented the Beacon-Ray and TwinSonic products, which were popular emergency vehicle lightbars.

In 1956, the company became a corporation, renaming itself "Federal Sign and Signal Corporation". By this time, it made outdoor warning sirens, police sirens, fire alarms, and outdoor lighting.

By 1961, Federal Sign and Signal had gone public, trading on the NASDAQ market. This was when new products started being manufactured and sold, such as the Federal Signal Model 2. In 1976, the company became Federal Signal Corporation.

On Feb 22, 2000, Federal Signal Corporation announced the signing of a definitive agreement for the acquisition of P.C.S. Company.[3]

On June 27, 2005, Federal Signal Corporation announced the signing of a joint venture agreement to establish a Chinese company, Federal Signal (Shanghai) Environmental & Sanitary Vehicle Company Limited, based near Shanghai, China.[4]

On February 29, 2016, Federal Signal announced the signing of a definitive agreement for the acquisition of Joe Johnson Equipment and the rights to the name and company.[5]

On July 2, 2019, Federal Signal completed the acquisition of the assets and operations of Mark Rite Lines Equipment Company, Inc., a manufacturer of road-marking equipment. along with HighMark Traffic Services, Inc., which provides road-marking services in Montana. The signing of the purchase agreement was previously announced on May 14, 2019.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Who We Are". Federal Signal. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Federal Signal Corp". Company Histories. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Federal Signal Annual Report, 2001, See note K". SEC.gov. September 3, 2019.
  4. ^ "Federal Signal Corporation Announces Establishment of Federal Signal Environmental & Sanitary Vehicle Company, Ltd".
  5. ^ "Federal Signal Executes Agreement to Acquire Joe Johnson Equipment". PR Newswire. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Federal Signal Completes Acquisition of Mark Rite Lines Equipment Company, Inc" (PDF). Federal Signal. July 2, 2019.