Firemen’s Hall Museum
147 North Second Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Open: Sunday & Monday Closed/Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm
Admission: Free but donations are appreciated
My review on TripAdvisor:
When touring around Old Town Philadelphia, I came across the Fireman’s Hall Museum dedicated to the Philadelphia Fire Department and its history and place in the City of Philadelphia.
What I found interesting about the museum is the detail that the museum has on the history of fire fighting not just in the City of Philadelphia but in the United States. The City of Philadelphia is the birthplace of the volunteer fire company and where Benjamin Franklin started the first fire company.
You can see the development of the fire service from the early bucket brigades where neighbors helped neighbors by keeping buckets of water in front of their houses in case of a fire. You can see the actual buckets that were used as well as the early fire markers that were attached to homes to recognize who was covered by fire insurance and where the fire fighters would go when a fire broke out.
Walking through the fire house downstairs, you can see how the fire equipment developed from the early horse drawn pumpers and ladder carts, to the decorative hose beds, to the early steam engines to the turn of the last century beginnings of the motorized cars.
The advancement of the steam equipment in the fire service
The second floor displays old equipment, the development of bunker gear and the helmets and the advancement of fire fighting equipment from the fire ax to the halogen tool. There are all sorts of fire markers from the history of the old fire insurance companies, a recreation of a fire chief’s office and pictures of old fires and how they were fought around the City of Philadelphia.
The museum is also manned by members of the Philadelphia Fire Department and many members visit the museum when they are off duty to explain things and talk about the fire service in the City.
They also have a great gift shop where all sorts of patches from the different fire companies are sold and other sorts of fire department items.
The museum is free to tour but donations are accepted and needed to maintain this wonderful museum that supports the City of Philadelphia’s fire service.
The Firemen’s Hall Museum at 147 North Second Street
Information on the Firemen’s Hall Museum:
The Firemen’s Hall Museum presents and preserves the history of firefighting in Philadelphia, paying tribute to its firefighters, both paid and volunteer through the museum’s exhibits, public programs and award ceremonies:
*Play our ‘when to call 9-1-1’ game.
*Inspect the first-class collection of hand drawn, horse drawn and motorized apparatus.
*Take the opportunity to ‘steer’ a fireboat.
*View models of early equipment, hand tools, fire markers and other firefighting memorabilia.
*Reflect upon our memorial exhibits.
*Hear discussion on the former segregation of the Philadelphia Fire Department and its history.
*See the 9/11 display
The museum occupies a restored fire house built in 1902 and contains one of the premier collections of fire apparatus, firefighting tools, uniforms, photographs, prints and fire masks. The museum interprets the history of firefighting in Philadelphia through its collections. Explore 18th century hand drawn engines, 19th century horse drawn steamers and motorized apparatus of the 20th century.
The decorative hose beds that were used for parades
Philadelphia is the birthplace of the first volunteer fire companies in the United States and Patriot Benjamin Franklin founded the first volunteer fire company, The Union Fire Company in 1736.
Through interactive and hands on exhibits, the Fireman’s Hall Museum educates and promotes sound fire prevention practices.
(Fireman’s Hall Museum pamphlet)