Sunday, June 7, 2009

Horse Drawn Fire Engine

I have always been fascinated by fire engines . . . new and old. Today's picture is from New York City, and shows one of the old style horse-drawn fire engines. The truck is on its way to the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire, which occurred on March 25, 1911. This was a devastating fire in a garment factory, with 146 people being killed. Some died from smoke and fire, and others died from jumping from the upper story windows. This fire actually led to new laws related to workplace safety.

As an added bonus, I found this interesting video clip of the New York City Fire Department in 1903, with horse-drawn fire engines racing to a fire.


  1. Interesting. Appreciate the video. That is a lot of equipment and men being pulled by three horses. The matched teams were no doubt a source of great pride to the Fire Companies. I have read that the horses knew their jobs and threw themselves "wholeheartedly" into their task.

  2. From youtube, here's a 1908 "video" of Barcelona, Spain, interspersed with a video of the same scene in 2008.

    Barcelona, 1908-2008

  3. The world pre-the mass market auto is a dividing line for me between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

    The familiarity with the value of horse-flesh and the intimate life people lived with horses in the "modern" world then tells you about that age.

    Walking by the horse-drawn carriages in NYC central park is a sight and smell of a different age.

  4. The Triange Shirtwaist Factory fire has always been of special interest to me, because my grandparents (from Italy) worked in sweatshops.

    I have referred to it on this blog before, when I was commenting on a photo of immigrants making lace in their tenement apartment.

    Anyway, if anyone is interested in learning more about the Triangle fire tragedy, click on the link below, you will find it very infomative:

    With respect to the photo, I love pictures those horse-drawn fire engines!

  5. Wonderful. Thank you for sharing the history.

    1. Did you get your tractor or buffalo?
    2. What time in history would you like to visit using my time machine?
    3. Why would you pick that time?

  6. Mabbelyne,
    The tractor/buffalo project had a major setback over an incident relating to Mrs. PJM's kitchen getting flooded due to me trying to "fix it" myself.

    2) I would most like to live through the alamo, battle of San Jacinto, and Civil War era

    3) I pick that time period becuase that was a day when there were great leaders, and men were honorable.

  7. PJM-Thanks for the response. I so enjoy the Saturday morning Mystery Person/Animal contests.