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Collection Guide
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Fireman's Fund Insurance Company Records
SFH 438  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
In 1863 William Holdredge created the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. His company established a fireman’s retirement fund with financing coming from 10% of his company’s annual net profit. This simultaneously reassured his customers that they were safe from fire and encouraged the firefighters to protect the city from fire.
Background
In 1860s San Francisco fire was a persistent and frequent threat to the city’s wooden structures. Volunteer firefighters received no compensation for their work which made them inconsistent and unreliable. The city suffered fires so frequently that insurance companies were wary of insuring San Francisco businesses. In 1863 William Holdredge created the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company to insure San Franciscan’s against fire. His new company established a fireman’s retirement fund with financing coming from 10% of his company’s annual net profit. This simultaneously reassured his customers that they were safe from fire and encouraged the firefighters to protect the city from fire.
Extent
2 Cubic Feet One small flat box, one small pamphlet box, one oversized flat-file, one oversized framed item, one glass plate box.
Restrictions
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.
Availability
The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours, with photographs available during Photo Desk hours. Collections that are stored offsite should be requested 48 hours in advance.