Scope and Contents
The collection documents firefighting and fires in American history through newspaper and magazine illustrations, ephemera, and photographs. The emphasis is on large urban fires (New York City and Chicago) and industrial fires in the northeastern United States. There are some illustrations of cartoons, rescues, poems, fires on ships and clippings about great floods in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.
Series 1, Newspaper clippings, 1852-1933, consists primarily of illustrations and text from Harper's Weekly, but other publications represented include Collier's Weekly, Harper's New Monthly MagazineIllustrated London News, Leslie's Weekly, Gleason's Pictorial, and Scientific American. The clippings are arranged geographically by state and city. The majority of the clippings relate to fires, firemen, fire engines, and parades featuring fire equipment. There is one folder that relates to a fire on the steamship Bienville, an explosion of the H.L. Cotton, as well as the floods. There is some ethnic imagery depicting John Bull during the Civil War and antislavery movement in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania folder.
Series 2, Illustrations, [1939?], consists of printed color illustrations of fire engines from Kenneth Holcomb Dunshee's book, Enjine! Enjine! published by Howard Vincent Smith of New York in 1939. The illustrations are arranged in an alphanumeric system (FS 105) assigned by Frank Seymour.
Series 3, Photographs and Ephemera, 1957 and undated, consists of primarily black-and-white photographs of engines, horse-drawn fire ambulances, a dog-drawn fire hose, an auction program for the Joseph L. Hallett Firemanic Collection, and a brochure for the National Fire Museum, Inc. of South Carver, Massachusetts. There is one color photograph of Ellie Mazur, undated.