approximately 160 items in 1 binder and 1 flat-top box
Scope and Content
This series contains more than 160 small-size printed items that pertain to firefighting and the activities
and organizations of firemen in the United States from approximately 1820 to 1909. The items consist of
business records and advertising and promotional materials produced for or
pertaining to firefighting organizations, related social or charitable
events, and firefighting vehicles, equipment, and supplies.
The entities represented in these materials include fire departments, engine
and hose companies, relief funds, veterans' associations, and firefighting
vehicle, equipment, and supply manufacturers such as engine works and pump
and hose manufacturers. Item types consist of printed booklets, trade cards,
small programs, menus, tickets and invitations for charitable and social
events such balls, concerts, musters, and celebrations, business cards,
lapel ribbons, book and periodical illustrations, membership certificates,
and stationery with printed billheads and letterheads filled out in
manuscript. Many of these items are decorated with images that include
depictions of firefighters assembling for duty and responding to alarms,
fighting fires, and rescuing victims; views of burning and damaged
buildings, and ruins amid flames, rubble, and smoke; and images of
firefighting vehicles and equipment including steam fire engines, manual
fire engines, hook and ladder trucks, hose carriages, fire hydrants, hoses,
ladders, preventers, axes, and speaking trumpets.
While most of the materials date from the second half of the 19th century,
among the earliest items in the collection is a circa 1820 engraving of a
fire pumper that advertises the Philadelphia firm of Sellers & Pennock
Patent River Hose, Fire Bucket and Hydraulion Manufacturers. Also of note are four small lithographs of parade floats carrying
New York City
firefighters and fire engines that were printed by Anthony Imbert of
New York City and published in 1826 as part of an appendix to the 1825
Memoir by Cadwallader D. Colden commemorating
the New York celebration of the opening of the Erie Canal. Later items
include an 1886 booklet for the Veteran Firemen’s Association annual ball
held at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, containing multiple
pages of advertisements and illustrations for firefighting apparatus and
related services interspersed with four images of historic New York City
fires; and twelve color covers with images of "Young Wide Awake" in
firefighting scenes from the
Wide Awake Weekly
dime-novel/penny-dreadful series that was published by Frank Tousey between
1906 and 1909.
Items smaller than 8 x 10 inches are housed in one binder.
Items that are between 8 x 10 inches and 11 x 14 inches in size are sleeved and arranged numerically by call number in one
box, and select items have been fully cataloged.
These items are described in the following format:
Title of print. Date
- Artist(s) (when known). Printer(s). Publisher(s).