LiveAuctionTalk.com Highlights Vintage Firefighting Equipment in its Weekly Free Article Rosemary McKittrick’s weekly collecting column is one of the best publications available for the art, antique and collectibles enthusiast. A trusted source. Photo courtesy of Northeast Auctions.
News-Antique.com - Nov 30,-0001 - October 27, 2006--“Get Out!” The 19th century firehouse watchman screamed into the dead of the night. Then he snapped mechanical collars onto the horses. The horses were already waiting underneath harnesses suspended from the ceiling.
They knew the drill. In the rear of the firehouse more horses attached to a hose cart paced nervously.
A moment later the smoke-belching nickel steamer raced down the dirt street toward the fire. The firemen were still getting dressed as the hose cart galloped up behind them.
Glowing embers filled the night air. The fire seemed to scorch everything in its path. Crude firefighting machines were all that stood between life, death and destruction.
A certain romance has always surrounded firefighting. There’s a sense of excitement and danger. There’s a common commitment to beat the fire. There’s the teamwork and courage it takes to pull it all off.
It’s not hard to understand the fascination of battling nature to put fires out and the added appeal of the equipment that made it all possible. Maybe that’s why there’s so much interest in old antique fire gear today like the silver-plated speaking trumpets fire chiefs used as megaphones.
Old 1880s photographs picture fire chiefs clad in full-dress parade uniforms and showing off their ceremonial trumpets like newborn babies. It’s a slice of Americana at its sweetest.
Other collectibles include the mid-19th century fireman’s axe, fire buckets, signal lights used on hoses in the 1860s, leather parade belts, badges, firehouse gongs, fire alarm boxes, fire warden staffs, and presentation lanterns.
On Aug. 19-20, Northeast Auctions in Portsmouth, NH., featured a selection of vintage firefighting equipment in its Marine & China Trade Auction.
Read the entire article at www.LiveAuctionTalk.com.