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The Firefighters Collection

The Firefighters Collection

The New York State Library has one of the most extensive collections of historic resources on the individual fires, firefighters and firefighting equipment of New York State. The images below are just a small sampling of those in the Firefighter Collection, which includes photos and historic documents dating from the 1880s through 1930s.

Images from the Collection

Albany Fire Protectives - Group Portrait

The Albany Fire Protectives worked for the Albany Board of Underwriters, salvaging buildings and their contents following a fire.

Portrait of seven firemen in full uniform

Albany Fire Protectives

Albany Fire Protectives in the street.

Firemen hold out a hose from a fire truck outside a row of buildings

Early fire engine

A rendering of the first fire engine manufactured in the U.S. (18th century) from "Ye Olde Fire Laddies" by Herbert Asbury, 1930.

Illustration of an early fire engine with wood wheels and body, cranes and hoses extended

"Giving Succor to the Victims of a Fire. A Scene in Engine 5's House."

An illustration from "Reminischences of the Old Fire laddies and Volunteer Fire Departments of New York and Brooklyn," 1885, by J. Frank Kernan.

Illustration of women sitting with children in a fire house with fire men attending to them

"Let her go"

An illustration of a fireman pulling a hose carriage from The Story of the Volunteer Fire Department of the City of New York, by George W. Sheldon. New York, Harper & Bros, 1882.

Illustration of fire man pulling a fire engine cart text Let Her Go in center