Fire Department of New York


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New York City Fire Department

H1866p25     Price $525

A Tribute to Heroes, Past and Present

Original 1866 Illustration of the New York Fire Department

You are viewing an original 1866 illustration celebrating the official formation of the New York City Fire Department. This rare and historically important leaf is approximately 16 x 22 inches, and is 137 years old. Please note that this is NOT a reproduction or facsimile, it is the original 137 year old leaf. 

Prior to 1866, the city of New York was protected by a completely volunteer fire department.  Some of these volunteer brigades often amounted to little more than roving bands of gangs and thugs, as depicted in the recent movie "Gangs of New York". By 1866 City Fathers recognized the critical importance of establishing a professional, well equipped and disciplined fire fighting force with credentials equivalent to those of the respected New York Police Department. 

The New York City Fire Department was under the direction of the Fire Commission, comprised of  P. W. Engs, M. B. Brown, C. C. Pinckney, and J. W. Abbe.  This commission appointed Elisha Kingsland as the first fire chief of the newly formed  New York City Fire Department.  The city also provided state-of-the-art fire fighting equipment for its new department, including 30 horse drawn fire engines, and 10 hook-and-latter units.  These represented a significant improvement in equipment, given the old force used hand drawn pumps.  The horse drawn units could reach fires in a fraction of the time required by the old hand-pulled units.

This stunning illustration contains a vast array of amazing historical detail on the earliest days of the New York City Fire Department. 

The print shows various scenes of the New York Fire department.  The center image shows a horse drawn fire truck rushing to a fire.  The firemen are pictured with traditional fire fighter hats.  The image shows lots of interesting details of the horse drawn fire truck. It also captures a scenario that has become the hallmark of professional firefighters . . . men, women and children can be seen running in the street AWAY from the fire, as the brave men on the fire team are seen racing towards the fire.  The upper left illustration shows an image of the fire hall, and the lower left image shows a detailed view of the horse drawn fire truck.  The lower right image shows the fire men battling a blazing building.

This is a highly displayable and collectible print.  Original material with such interesting content and detail is becoming extremely hard to find.  This print scores high for Visual Impact, Historic Content, and Condition.  It would make the ultimate gift for any fire fighter.  In particular, it would make a spectacular gift for any member of the New York City Fire  Department.  I assure you that this print will be cherished by its new owner! It would make an especially poignant gift is framed and presented to your local fire brigade.  What better tribute to a firefighter you know than the gift of this amazing print?

On the back of the print is a fascinating story about the New York Metropolitan Fire Department. 

You simply don't want to miss this print!  It will make a stunning display when framed, and you can be assured that is will always be the center of attention, and will become a treasure that will be cherished for generations to come.

 Unlike newsprint of this century, these older, original pages do not yellow and fall apart.  The reason is that modern newspapers use an acid based process.   Remnant acid in the paper causes the paper to quickly yellow and deteriorate.   A different process was used in the mid-1800's which yielded an exceptional quality paper that will last for centuries. Special acid free mats should be used when you frame this piece to ensure that it will last another 150 years.  Acid free mats are available at most better frame shops.  If you have any questions related to handling or framing this piece feel free to email me.  The print is approximately 16x22  inches.  I have been collecting Civil War era art for over 10 years.  It is a fascinating hobby, and I find that these pieces really get noticed when framed and displayed.

The print is in excellent condition. It does not have any tears, stains or other problems. The print is highly displayable, and I guarantee your satisfaction! 

Don't, miss your chance to own an original and rare piece of Fire Fighting History. I would be delighted to answer any questions you might have about this important piece.  Simply email me at





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