Tag: Fire Fighting Museums

Firemen’s Hall Museum 147 North Second Street Philadelphia, PA 19106

Firemen’s Hall Museum

147 North Second Street

Philadelphia, PA 19106

(215) 923-1438

https://www.facebook.com/firemanshall/

Open: Sunday & Monday Closed/Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm

Admission: Free but donations are appreciated

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60795-d146195-r793538286-Fireman_s_Hall-Philadelphia_Pennsylvania.html?m=19905

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.

Fireman's Hall, Philadelphia - Tripadvisor

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.

Vintage Fire Fighting Equipment - Picture of Volunteer Fireman's Hall &  Museum of Kingston - Tripadvisor

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)

Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum of Kingston                                                    265 Fair Street                                             Kingston, NY 12402

Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum of Kingston 265 Fair Street Kingston, NY 12402

Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum of Kingston

265 Fair Street

Kingston, NY  12402

(831) 331-0866

https://kingstonvolunteerfiremensmuseum.weebly.com/

Open:  The hours vary by the season so please look to the website for the openings. School groups please call for an appointment.

Fee: Free but donations accepted

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48003-d3367598-Reviews-Volunteer_Fireman_s_Hall_Museum_of_Kingston-Kingston_New_York.html?m=19905

I was recently visiting Kingston, NY for an event and while walking around the downtown the doors of the Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum of Kingston was open for visitors. Even if you are not a fire fighter it is such an interesting museum on the history of fire fighting and the role the Kingston Fire Department had in the formation of the City of Kingston.

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The early horse drawn fire equipment

On the main floor is four pieces of equipment from various stages of the department. The engines are from the turn of the last century featuring horse drawn ladders and steam engines and then the latest equipment from the early teens and twenties from the automotive stage. Each piece of equipment has been carefully maintained and is in pristine shape. It is interesting to see how different each rig is at that stage of its history but how much has not really changed with the use of the equipment when fighting a fire.

One of the more interesting pieces in the collection is the beautifully detailed Parade piece from the late 1800’s (circa around 1890’s) which has gorgeous details and intricate craftsmanship work to it. This interesting piece of equipment was the pride of the department on parade day and is one of the few of its type in the country.

Kingston Firemen's Museum V

The Fire Department Parade Piece

Along the walls is all sorts of pictures of old fires, men who were once members of the department, ribbons and awards, old systems for calling for firemen from the horns that used to sound the alarms to the more modern telegraph equipment to the current paging systems.

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The fire department equipment pieces

Upstairs you can visit the furnished headquarters of a firehouse circa 1890’s to 1920 with vintage furniture, decorations and composites of firemen long ago. There is even a mannequin of a fire fighter sliding down a pole that leads to the first floor. Here and there are more decorative equipment pieces, furnishings and awards.

The museum has a little something for everyone and if you are interesting in knowing more of the history of the fire service and want to hear the stories by members current and retired from the Kingston Fire Department, then the Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum is the place to visit.

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Old decorations from fire equipment at the Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum

 

History of the Museum and Fire Fighting in Kingston, NY:

Ulster County has a remarkable over 350 year history of noble fire fighting. See it up-close and personal at the Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum of Kingston.

When Kingston City Hall burned on June 4th, 1927, the third alarm was sounded from the building’s own bell tower before it crashed to the ground. Fire calls in Kingston today are answered through the 911 system with a three minute response time. Ever watched a TV show about firemen and their firehouse? The ‘squawk’ to a call is unmistakable.

Seven volunteer fire companies and the Exempt Association of Kingston recognized the importance of preserving and protecting firematic artifacts as well as establishing a meeting hall for volunteer fire organizations in Kingston and Ulster County. They were charged with finding a permanent home and signed a lease with the City of Kingston for Fair Street’s historic circa 1850 Wiltwyck Fire Station and the rest is history.

Walk through the large wooden doors to the home away from home of the 19th century firefighters.

Kingston Firemen's Museum.jpg

The old Kingston, NY firehouse that now houses the museum

Disclaimer: this information was taken directly from the Volunteer Firemen’s Hall & Museum of Kingston pamphlet and I give them full credit for it. Please check out their website for more information.

Firefighting Museum of Dutchess County          P.O. Box 2435                                      Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Firefighting Museum of Dutchess County P.O. Box 2435 Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Firefighting Museum of Dutchess County

(Antique Firehouse & Firefighting Museum)

P.O. Box 2435

Poughkeepsie, NY  12601

https://dchsny.org/firemuseum/

https://www.facebook.com/DutchessCountyFirefightingMuseum/

The Firefighting Museum of Dutchess County (Dutchess County Firefighting Museum) right now is a work in progress for the organization. It is a traveling museum until a new home is built for it so all the objects in the collection are in storage. They come out when members of the museum’s organization can mount the show of their objects. I met up with them at the Dutchess County Fair in 2019. The picture above is what the organization has proposed as their new building. At this writing, the Dutchess County Fairgrounds Management has proposed to build them a new building on the Fair Grounds with the stipulation that it remain open when the fair grounds are being used and closed when they are not being used.

Dutchess County Firefighter Museum II

Dutchess County Firefighters Museum logo

Right now the organization is operating in a traveling tent on the Fair Grounds and has an interesting combination of equipment, medals, horns and firefighting objects from the 1800 and 1900’s. It really is an interesting way to see how fire fighting from the past relates to today and how much really has not changed. There were three different pieces of equipment on display: an old Ladder Truck from the 1890’s, a pumper from 1902 and an old hose bed that must have been around 1896.

There were old fire horns used long before traditional fire whistles and modern pagers, firefighting ribbons and awards, old buckets and hoses for moving water and lots of pictures of old fires. The members were explaining to me that they take the objects out at all sorts of town and county functions to promote the museum. It will be in a traveling tent until a new home is built for the museum. Until then, look to their Facebook page for more details.

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Fire equipment from the fair grounds

History of the Dutchess County Firefighting Museum:

The Dutchess County Agricultural Society Inc. (DCAS) and the Century Museum Village & Collectors Association will be growing The Antique Village, located on the Dutchess County Fairgrounds which will include a reproduction of a late 19th Century Firehouse and museum of Firefighting memorabilia.

The Antique Firehouse will join the Pleasant Valley Rail Road Station, the Mt. Ross Schoolhouse, Washington Hollow Fair Judging Gazebo and the Century Museum.

This grouping of special buildings on the Fairgrounds has been dedicated to preserving life in the late 1800’s in Dutchess County and sharing it with the over 500,000 visitors to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds over the course of the year.

The Firehouse Project Research and artifact collection is underway and the Fairgrounds is committed to adding to Dutchess County’s Fire Service history.

The project’s estimated cost is $275,000. Every dollar donated to the Firehouse fund helps make the dream of a projected Grand Opening for the 175th anniversary of the Dutchess County Fair in 2020.

Special Firefighting “Coins” have been minted commemorating different fire stations, historic Dutchess County firefighting events and the dream of the Antique Fire Station and Museum. You can be a part of this exciting project by purchasing coins or making a tax-deductible donation.

Disclaimer: This information is taken directly from the Antique Firehouse & Firefighting Museum of the Dutchess County Fair Grounds and I give them full credit for it. The above picture is of the original proposed design for the museum and will be changed once the new building is built.

Cape May Fireman’s Museum                             643 Washington Street at the corner of Franklin Street                                                                   Cape May, NJ 08204

Cape May Fireman’s Museum 643 Washington Street at the corner of Franklin Street Cape May, NJ 08204

Cape May Firemen’s Museum

643 Washington Street at the corner of Franklin Street

Cape May, NJ  08204

(609) 884-9512

http://capemayfd.com/custom.html?id=20402

Admission: Free

Hours: Call ahead

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46341-d8012176-Reviews-Cape_May_Fire_Department_Museum-Cape_May_Cape_May_County_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

When I was in Cape May, NJ recently and came across the Cape May Fire Department Museum when walking around the town. It is interesting little museum that tells the history of the Cape May Fire Department.

The museum showcases the history Cape May Fire Department since its creation in the late 1880’s. There have been some serious fires over the years that have destroyed sections of the Cape May resort community. Some of the resorts oldest and grandest hotels that were made of wood have been leveled by spectacular fires. The department has framed the articles around the building.

Cape May Fire Museum III

The inside of the Cape May Museum

There is also large collection of patches from fire departments all over the country, displays of equipment from all eras of fire fighting and some displays that are dedicated to retired firemen from the department with their equipment.

Some fascinating old fire equipment is on display as well. All of this is marked accordingly along the walls. In the middle of the museum there is an antique pumper to admire that has been fully restored. All the pieces of equipment are dated and described so that you can see the transition in fire fighting over the years.

cape may fire museum ii

Cape May Fire Department News:

The museum is open and free to the public. Please come and enjoy the history of the City of Cape May Fire Department. Shirts can be purchased inside the Station. The career personnel on staff will be happy to assist you. The antique Fire Engine is a 1928 American La France and is house inside our museum.

Cape May Fire Museum IV

The Chief’s Desk at the Cape May Fire Museum

Disclaimer: I credit the Cape May Fire Department for this information and I give them full credit on it. Please call the Department for hours of their museum.