Engine and Hose Companies and Fire Association

Engine and Hose Companies and Fire Association

The extent and splendor of the Fire Apparatus of this city, is entirely unsurpassed, by any city of equal size. About Fifty Engine and Hose Companies are efficiently organized and provided with Engines of great power and beauty, and Hose carriages of the highest finish, located in suitable places in the city and surrounding Districts.

The Hose carriages are capable concentrating on any one object, a very large quantity of water, by the means of over 30,000 feet of Hose. The joint action of the Engine and Hose Companies, in time of fire, is the subject of admiration and astonishment, as they often extinguish the most combustible materials, and arrest a fire with the utmost facility and certainty.

The Engine and Hose Companies are voluntary associations, receiving only partial assistance from the City Councils, Commissioners of the Districts, Fire Insurance Companies, Liberal minded Citizens, and spirited Managers of Public Institutions, in the shape of Benefits. The chief expense of the Apparatus, and all the arduous labor of transporting their instruments to and from the scene of action, and the dangerous duties of extinguishing the fires, falling on the generous hearted individuals who have associated themselves together, as public guardians, by day and night, against that destructive element, which, in other cities is the subject of so much excitement and terror.

Firemen's' Procession

In order to celebrate the Union of the Fire Department, for more efficient action, they (occasionally) parade, on their Anniversary, in splendid procession, with all the Apparatus, Paraphernalia, Insignia, &c. arranged with mounted marshals, bands of music, interspersed at several parts of the long line of Engines and Hose carriages.

The carriages are drawn by horses, purposely selected for the occasion, and the number of Firemen who appear in the procession exceeds 2,000 active and enterprising men. This procession forms a very imposing object extending as it does over one mile in length.

The first Engine Company was organized more than a century ago, and the Hose Companies were suggested by the late Messrs. Haines and Vaux.

Fund for Disabled Firemen

The Fire Department has established a Fund, for the protection of disabled Firemen, and their laudable endeavors to create an adequate refuge, in cases of distress, have been promoted by contributions from individuals, and by benefits, from public institutions.

The following gentlemen are the officers of the "Philadelphia Association" for the relief of Disabled Firemen:

Charles Schaffer, President,
George W. Tryon, Vice President,
Samuel P. Griffiths, Jr. Secretary,
John Rutherford, Assistant Secretary.

Committee of Trustees, to Administer Relief

William P. Smith
Jacob Eshler
Adam Dialogue
John Allen
Joseph R. Paulson
James Dalzell

Names of Engine Companies:

Assistance
Reliance
Pennsylvania
Hirbenia
Washington
Columbia
Vigilant
Diligent
Harmony
Delaware.
Philadelphia
Good Will
Hand in Hand
Humane
Northern Liberties
United States
Friendship
Weccacoe
Southwark
Franklin
Fair Mount
Hope
Good Intent
Globe
Phoenix
Fame


Names of Hose Companies:

Columbia
Hope
Resolution
Philadelphia
Fame
Neptune
Southwark
Phoenix
Good Intent
Perseverance
Washington
America
Robert Morris
Schuylkill
Good Will
Warren
Western
Humane
Northern Liberties
United States
William Pm
Niagara
Marion
Diligent
Pennsylvania
Franklin
La Fayette
Moyamensing

The Bridges

The permanent Bridge, built of the best materials, is a structure highly ornamental to the Schuylkill, connecting Market Street with West Philadelphia. The Fair Mount Bridge, recently destroyed by fire, was a single span of over 300 feet, with a light and airy appearance, and extremely beautiful, in connection with the falls of the Fair Mount dam.

A new Bridge has been erected, near the floating bridge, at Bray's Ferry, with a moveable draw, of sufficient size to allow the largest vessel in the growing coal trade, to sail through with ease: This bridge, which was constructed by the "Baltimore and Philadelphia Raid Road Company, " has sustained considerable injury, from the great ice freshet, which occurred on the 26th January, 1839 which swept away one of the piers, and two of its sections. The floating bridge at Gray's Ferry, was also carried away, by the violence of the same flood. We are happy to learn that all the damage occurring, from that rapid rise of the Schuylkill, are in rapid progress of repair, and that both the bridges are now passable.

The water on that occasion rose so rapidly, that houses with their inhabitants, and stables with their contents, situated on the margin of the river, were swept away. The wharves on the Schuylkill were piled with ice, and several loaded vessels floated into situations, that required their being re-launched, from the wharves.

It may be remarked, in relation to bridges, that a law has recently been passed, authorizing the erection of a Free Bridge, at the site of the late beautiful structure, near Fair Mount, and one also at Arch Street, unless the permanent bridge company shall surrender their bridge to the city, for the sum of Eighty Thousand Dollars and an equivalent in Tolls, to Thirty Thousand Dollars more, making their whole compensation One Hundred and Ten Thousand Dollars. Upon the acceptance of this proposition, the city will make the present "permanent bridge," Free, and the one contemplated, at Arch Street, will not be erected.

The permanent bridge was erected in the most substantial manner, at a cost of Three Hundred and Thirty Thousand Dollars coffer dams having been sunk to the bottom of the rivers about 20 feet and the foundation of one of the piers carried sixteen feet below the bed of the river.

Since writing the above the "Permanent Bridge Company'' have acceded to the law, making it a Free Bridge.

History of Philadelphia


Source: A History of Philadelphia: With a Notice of Villages, in the Vicinity, Printed and published by Daniel Bowen, 1839


Please Come Again!!



Back to AHGP

Copyright August ©2011 - 2017AHGP The American History and Genealogy Project.
Enjoy the work of our webmasters, provide a link, do not copy their work

This web page was last updated.
2016

 


Hosted Free