New York City Fire Museum

New York City Fire Museum This renovated 1904 firehouse contains a comprehensive collection of fire-related art & artifacts from 18th century to the present. Visitors explore firefighting history from buckets to motorized apparatus, from a volunteer to professional service.
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The New York City Fire Museum is the official museum of the FDNY and houses one of the nation's most prominent collections of fire related art and artifacts from the 18th Century to the present. Among its holdings are painted leather buckets, helmets, parade hats and belts, lanterns and tools, Volunteer-era hand pumped fire engines, horse drawn vehicles and early motorized apparatus. Admission is $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for children, seniors and college students; Admission is free for active FDNY, NYPD, DSNY and NYNJPA members.

Operating as usual

The NYC Fire Museum was honored to facilitate a Multi-Unit Drill at the construction site across the street.  The buildi...
05/05/2021

The NYC Fire Museum was honored to facilitate a Multi-Unit Drill at the construction site across the street. The buildings will be the new NYC headquarters for Disney/ABC under the site management of LendLease and owned by Silverstein Properties. Under the direction of BC Jim Corcoran, Battalion 2, Rescue 1, Squad 18, Ladder 1, Ladder 5, Engine 24, Robotics, EMS Rescue Medics and EMS HazTac, extricated a simulated injured worker from the 55' deep site. All went smoothly under foul weather conditions and the patient is doing well!!!!

Photos from New York City Fire Museum's post
05/05/2021

Photos from New York City Fire Museum's post

Today’s Flashback Friday takes us back to April 25th, 1854, the date of a fire at the William T. Jennings Clothing Compa...
04/23/2021

Today’s Flashback Friday takes us back to April 25th, 1854, the date of a fire at the William T. Jennings Clothing Company at 231 Broadway. Eleven firefighters were killed, which is the greatest loss of life in the history of the New York Volunteer Fire Department, and one of the deadliest days in New York City Fire history.

The tragedy occurred when cold water from Engine 22’s hose line connected with a red-hot iron arch, causing it to crack, setting in motion a devastating series of events. A large safe on the fourth floor shifted, causing the rear wall to collapse on a group of firefighters working below. Two were killed outright, with others trapped in the rubble. As other firefighters rushed to their aid, a second collapse occurred, killing nine more. In addition to the eleven men killed, twenty-two suffered serious injuries.

The fire was proven to have been intentionally set, and three men were later caught, convicted and imprisoned. This fire, as well as several other suspicious fires caught the attention of Alfred E. Baker, a reporter with the New York Herald. He wrote a letter to the Board of New York Police Commissioners suggesting that hiring a Fire Marshal would be in their interest. In response, the police justices appointed him to be their clerk and directed him to investigate the fires. The insurance companies raised funds to pay him. The Board of Police Commissioners presented Baker with a badge in the form of a police sergeant’s shield with the title “Fire Marshal, New York” engraved upon it. NYFD Chief Engineer Alfred Carson approved Baker’s request to wear fireman’s gear including a red shirt, helmet and fire coat. This marks the beginning of what today is the FDNY Bureau of Fire Investigation.

The painting shown depicts Assistant Engineer Harry Howard standing at the fire scene. This life size painting is on permanent display on the second floor of the New York City Fire Museum.

The plaque pictured is a 19th century marble memorial to Fireman Andrew C. Schenck, a volunteer with the Mutual Hook and Ladder Company Number One. According to legend, he was planning to retire, telling his fiancé “At the sound of the alarm, I will go to this fire, and this is the last fire I will go to.” It can be seen at the New York State Museum.

The lithograph depicts the incredible effort made to fight the fire, appeared in newspapers of the day and was published in the landmark book on early FDNY history, “Our Firemen.”

More information about the historic impact of this fire on the creation of the Bureau of Fire Investigation is available on this month’s Throwback FDNY podcast. The podcasts present the extraordinary history and unique heritage of the Fire Department in the five boroughs. It is available Spotify, Apple, and Google or you can connect via the Museum’s website at www.nycfiremuseum.org/ThrowbackFDNY

04/23/2021

NEW podcast episode is up!
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In this episode of Throwback FDNY… the Bureau of Fire Investigation is Created in 1854, New York Firefighters Respond to the Great Fire in Baltimore in 1904 and Tactical Control Units Are Launched in 1970.
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Check it out and please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
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Presented with support from the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) and the FDNY Foundation.

Flashback Friday – The FDNY firefighter’s helmet has a long tradition.  First created by Jacobus Turck around 1740, wear...
04/16/2021

Flashback Friday – The FDNY firefighter’s helmet has a long tradition. First created by Jacobus Turck around 1740, wearing one at fires became required by the City starting in 1762. Its basic design has not changed much in over 280 years. Most followers of the FDNY recall the leather helmets worn by firefighters made by only a handful of local manufacturers. For a long period of time they were form-fitted to the wearers head. With the evolution of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, FDNY eventually saw a move to a helmet made of composite material, with new safety features. “Leather Forever” was the cry of traditionalists, but to no avail, until recently that is when leather helmets have been seen making a new appearance.

But today’s Flashback is about another iteration of the firefighter’s helmet that many FDNY fans and buffs are unaware of…an aluminum helmet. Although exact dates are difficult to pin down, there is photographic evidence of these being worn in the mid-1910’s into, perhaps, the 1920’s. The NYC Fire Museum is fortunate to have several aluminum FDNY helmets in the collection, including two recently donated. They are the ones shown below from Engine Company 73 and Battalion 47.

Join us on Thursday June 24, 2021 at the Muttontown Club in Long Island. The day promises to be memorable with many acti...
04/13/2021

Join us on Thursday June 24, 2021 at the Muttontown Club in Long Island. The day promises to be memorable with many activities in addition to an exciting round of golf, brunch, cocktail reception and auction!

There will also be a virtual auction! Register today to get a chance to win this custom NYC Fire Museum Golf Outing Helmet.

Listen to @fairwaysandfundraising latest podcast episode to hear our Executive Director discuss the great day we have planned for all attendees.

Visit
www.nycfiremuseum.org/golfouting for more info!

Play Ball!  Today’s Flashback Friday coincides with the start of the Major League Baseball season and takes a look at th...
04/09/2021

Play Ball! Today’s Flashback Friday coincides with the start of the Major League Baseball season and takes a look at the FDNY Baseball Team. The team has a long and rich history, with organized play dating back to approximately 1910 and continuing through today, with the current team awaiting the start of its season.

The uniform pictured was recently donated to the New York City Fire Museum from the son of a member who joined the team in 1935. An interesting anecdote told by the donor was that his father was offered a temporary contract by the New York Giants after the teams played an exhibition game. FDNY Commissioner John McElligott vetoed the move, telling the player “You are a fireman. That is your job.”

The interesting photo shown of members in baseball uniforms on a fire escape comes from the team’s website (www.fdnybaseball.com). The photo is captioned as follows: “The FDNY Bravest baseball game went into overtime today, when they were interrupted by an All Hands! Queens box 4503 at 137th Street and 32nd Ave. at 14:55hrs 4/10/99.”

The New York City Fire Museum is currently planning an exhibition showcasing the many sports teams organized by the members. If you would like to contribute an artifact or photograph, which can be returned when the exhibition closes, please contact the museum at [email protected].

Flashback Friday - In 1853 the New York City Fire Department installed its first “Communications Office” in the basement...
04/02/2021

Flashback Friday - In 1853 the New York City Fire Department installed its first “Communications Office” in the basement of City Hall. There, wires came in from the various lookout towers around the city (comprised only of Manhattan at that time,) from which signals would be sent out to the sixty-eight fire companies below 14th Street. When the FDNY took over from the paid Metropolitan Fire Department in 1870, this function was moved to the headquarters at 155 Mercer Street. An image in a 19th Century newspaper shows that alarm room. In the image you can see one device that was part of the system, a Moses Crane Alarm Register. This piece dates to 1870 and was therefore undoubtedly part of the relocation of the office to Mercer Street from City Hall.

The NYC Fire Museum is fortunate to have that very register still in its collection. Though not presently on display, it will be part of a future exhibition on FDNY Communications history.

Flashback Friday - In the final post celebrating Women’s History Month, The New York City Fire Museum salutes Retired Fi...
03/26/2021

Flashback Friday - In the final post celebrating Women’s History Month, The New York City Fire Museum salutes Retired Firefighter Harriet Duren. Firefighter Duren started on the job in the 1982 group of female firefighters, and retired in 1997. She suffered 3rd degree burns at a house fire, and was forced to jump from the top floor of the building. After retirement, Firefighter Duren began working for Fire Safety Education, and continues in that role today, working at the New York City Fire Museum to educate children of all ages of the importance of fire safety and the proper steps to take in the event they are caught in a fire.

We salute Firefighter Duren for her outstanding career and continuing commitment to the residents of New York City.

03/25/2021

NEW podcast episode is up!
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In this show, the 1850 arrival of the charitable Swedish Nightingale, the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire of 1911 and the first 41 women join the ranks of firefighters in 1982.
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Check it out and please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
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Presented by the NYC Fire Museum with support from the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) and the FDNY Foundation.

Today we remember the tragedy of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire on this, the 110th Anniversary.  From the perspective of t...
03/25/2021

Today we remember the tragedy of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire on this, the 110th Anniversary. From the perspective of the FDNY, the 146 that perished that day did not die in vain. Significant changes to fire safety regulations and building codes were enacted as a result, which can be credited with avoiding a repeat of such a loss. Perhaps the most significant was the establishment of the FDNY Bureau of Fire Prevention, which continues its important work today. These included, installation of fire sprinklers, conduct of fire drills, and having unlocked, outward-opening doors.” Additional laws required the removal of fire hazards such as rubbish, the use of fireproof waste receptacles, the protection of gas jets, the prohibition of smoking in the factory, the presence of fire escapes and exits, and the assignment of building occupancy limits. A total of thirty-six laws addressing fire safety were passed in the years immediately following the tragedy.Also, if you have see a "No Smoking" sign anywhere, their origin is also traced to the Triangle fire when, just days afterward, the FDNY ordered that such signs be posted in work places around the city, in the three languages most prevalent at Triangle, English, Hebrew and Italian. Few of these original signs exist today. Two are shown below; the one in English is in a private collection and bears the signature of Fire Commissioner Joseph Johnson; the Hebrew sign is of later vintage (circa 1941 - 1945) and its current whereabouts is unknown.

Join us at the NYC Fire Museum to remember the loss of 146 souls on this day as well as to remember their legacy. And be sure to listen to this month's podcast for more on the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. (www.NYCFireMuseum.org/ThrowbackFDNY)

#trianglefire

Flashback Friday - In honor of Women’s History Month, the New York City Fire Museum salutes Chief of EMS Lilian Bonsigno...
03/19/2021

Flashback Friday - In honor of Women’s History Month, the New York City Fire Museum salutes Chief of EMS Lilian Bonsignore. Chief Bonsignore was appointed to her current position on May 7th, 2019, and is responsible for overseeing operations, planning, strategic initiatives, and logistics.

Chief Bonsignore was appointed as a New York City EMT in 1991 and was initially assigned to EMS Station 14 at Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx. Chief Bonsignore was an instructor in the Certified First Responder program during the terror attacks on September 11th, and responded from Fort Totten in a convoy of EMS members to the World Trade Center, and spent many days taking part in our rescue and recovery efforts. She moved up the ranks becoming a Lieutenant in 2005, serving in the South Bronx, she was certified as a Paramedic in 2007. After being promoted to Captain in 2010, she served as Station Commander of two EMS Stations in Brooklyn and was promoted to Deputy Chief and assigned to the EMS Academy in 2013.

She was appointed Chief of EMS Academy at Fort Totten in 2016, where she was responsible for the emergency medical education of the nearly 13,000 members of the FDNY. In addition, Chief Bonsignore was responsible for all FDNY EMS Officer training and commanded the FDNY EMS Probationary School.

Today, we salute Chief Bonsignore for her outstanding and continuing career.

On the afternoon of March 17, 1899 thousands of people crowded Fifth Avenue as the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade filed...
03/17/2021

On the afternoon of March 17, 1899 thousands of people crowded Fifth Avenue as the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade filed past the Windsor Hotel. Around 3:00 a guest lit a cigar in an upstairs hallway and tossed the still-lit match which caught a curtain ablaze. Panicking, the man rushed out of the hotel without summoning help.

The fire intensified with unbelievable speed, roaring up stairways and trapping guests in their rooms. The New-York Tribune the following day said “But the fact remains that the fire could scarcely have burned with more rapidity had the building been constructed with an eye to making one grand bonfire out of it.” The street below, moments before the scene of carefree celebration, was suddenly one of terror.

The first of the firefighters arrived around 3:20 and by now guests were throwing themselves from their windows to their deaths amid the horrified St. Patrick’s Day revelers. The firemen got as many guests and employees as possible out before the heat made it impossible to be inside. The Times reported that “the heads of panic-stricken people protruded from the hotel windows, turning now toward the flames and now toward the sidewalk, and calling for help in tones that made the hearers sick.”

Two more alarms were sounded. Firefighters, many of them still wearing their parade dress uniforms, hosed down the surrounding mansions to keep the fire from spreading.

Around 4:00, just one hour after the fire began, the central section of the hotel fell in, and twenty minutes later the 46th Street wall collapsed. It would be days before the ruins were cool enough to dig for human remains. In the end at least 90 people were dead and for over a year the block-long plot of scarred ground—called by The New York Times “the dreary void”—was a reminder to the surrounding wealthy residents of the horrific catastrophe of St. Patrick’s Day 1899.

Join us on Thursday June 24 2021 at the famous Muttontown Club in Long Island! Enjoy a day filled with golfing, cocktail...
03/17/2021

Join us on Thursday June 24 2021 at the famous Muttontown Club in Long Island! Enjoy a day filled with golfing, cocktails, raffle prizes and so much more! All funds raised from the event will directly support the Museum. Sponsorships and raffle opportunities are available. Visit www.nycfiremuseum.org/golfouting for more info!

New York City Fire Museum
03/13/2021

New York City Fire Museum

In honor of Women’s History Month, today’s Flashback Friday takes us back to June 25th, 2003. On this day, Captain Rochelle “Rocky” Jones became the first woman to be promoted to Battalion Chief, assigned to Battalion 33. Chief Jones had previously been the first woman promoted to Captain (June 1999), and Lieutenant (May 1994), and was part of the first group of women firefighters hired by the FDNY. The New York City Fire Museum salutes Chief Jones, and all of the women of the FDNY who protect our city and its residents on a daily basis.

In honor of Women’s History Month, today’s Flashback Friday takes us back to June 25th, 2003.  On this day, Captain Roch...
03/12/2021

In honor of Women’s History Month, today’s Flashback Friday takes us back to June 25th, 2003. On this day, Captain Rochelle “Rocky” Jones became the first woman to be promoted to Battalion Chief, assigned to Battalion 33. Chief Jones had previously been the first woman promoted to Captain (June 1999), and Lieutenant (May 1994), and was part of the first group of women firefighters hired by the FDNY. The New York City Fire Museum salutes Chief Jones, and all of the women of the FDNY who protect our city and its residents on a daily basis.

Are you an #FDNY history buff? Don’t forget to listen to our latest Podcast episode!
03/12/2021

Are you an #FDNY history buff? Don’t forget to listen to our latest Podcast episode!

Today’s FDNY Throwback Thursday photo is from this day in 1972 – a 2-alarm fire at 711 Union Street in Brooklyn. See more photos at bit.ly/30tkXsG

Learn more about FDNY history with the New York City Fire Museum Throwback FDNY Podcast, now available on Apple, Spotify and Google Play. Sign up for the Museum's companion Throwback FDNY newsletter, at nycfiremuseum.org/throwbackfdny

Address

278 Spring St
New York, NY
10013

1 train to Houston or Canal Streets; C or E to Spring Street

Opening Hours

Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 17:00
Sunday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(212) 691-1303

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