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WWII Civil Defence Siren
This Civil Defense Siren (also colloquially referred to as an air raid or tornado siren) is a mechanical device for generating sound to provide warning of approaching danger and sometimes to indicate when the danger has passed. Initially designed to warn of air raids in World War II, later they were adapted to warn of nuclear attack and, in some countries, of natural phenomena such as tornadoes.
Ours shown above is an example of a British Air Raid Siren, but interestingly in every respect it is the same as the German version apart from being slightly larger. The handle on the top has a dual purpose, one, it helps to carry the unit, and two turning the handle closes an opening suppressing the sound, possibly to indicate (by oscillation) the type of raid ie, bomb or gas. This unit has recently been repainted.