Boston (Mass.). Fire Department
The origins of the Boston Fire Department date back to 1678 with the establishment of the first engine company and the receipt of the first hand fire engine in North America. The Board of Fire Wards was established on February 1, 1711. Prominent men were chosen as Fire Wards and were responsible for the operation and maintenance of the equipment assigned to their ward. Chapter 52 of the Acts of 1825, "An Act Establishing a Fire Department in the City of Boston and an Ordinance for the preventing and extinguishing of fires and establishing a fire department" went into full operation in April of 1826. With this legislation, the Board of Fire Wards was dissolved. All records and property belonging to the city were transferred to the Chief Engineer in May of 1826.
Found in 42 Collections and/or Records:
Log books of the circuits in fire alarm cables. These are the circuits (wires) that connect to all of the fire boxes in the area of Engine's firehouse. These circuits are also used for sounding alarms. Includes index at the front of the book with references to each specific cable box.
Includes a set of Fire Alarm cards in use from 1960-1981 and a set that was in use in the 1950s as they are marked with updates in 1955. The Fire Department began using a card system for the fire alarm boxes in 1910. New sets were issued in 1910, 1921, 1929, 1960 and 1981. Includes a card for each fire alarm box in the City with information on the order of response and coverage of fire companies to alarms on the fire box. These sets were kept in each fire house in the City.
The original photographs are on display at the Fire Alarm Division at 59 The Fenway. The photographs in this collection were digitized by a member of the Fire Alarm Division and the files were made available to the City of Boston Archives.
House journals of the Fire Alarm Division and Communications Unit located in the Fenway. House journals are daily logs that record calls received and response, members present and other functions of house.
This collection consists of chronological bound volumes of the proceedings of the mostly daily meetings of the Board of Fire Commissioners, as well as the proceedings of what later became a single Fire Commissioner. The Board of Fire Commissioners was abolished and replaced by a single Fire Commissioner on July 1, 1895. The minutes record the actions of the Board of Fire Commissioners and the single Fire Commissioner on issues involving personnel, supplies, equipment, etc.
Small collection of 10 photographs donated to City Archives. Includes image of horse-drawn fire apparatus, undated; Fire Engine on Cambridge Street, undated; Engine 47 Fire Boat, 1948; Fire Department Banner on Washington Street, 1956; Fire on Brattle Street, 1959; 4 photographs of damage to North Station MTA, 1959; and Gil Jones and Fire Prevention Detail, 1961.