Thursday, January 26, 2012

FIRE! FIRE! – Hudson, New York (Part 1)

Continuing with our late summer/early fall road trip to New York State and Pennsylvania…

Since I always research the areas of the country we’re going to visit, I usually end up routing our trips so that we can check out some of the popular, more unusual and/or out of the way attractions along the way.

This is the Firefighter’s Association of the State of New York’s, (FASNY), Museum of Firefighting.  It’s located on the grounds of the New York State Firefighter’s Home near the Hudson River in Hudson New York.

The museum first opened in 1926.  Additions to the facility occurred in 1957, 1972, 1989 and in 2000.  The museum has over 90 pieces of firefighting apparatus and hundreds, if not thousands, of other firefighting artifacts on display.  FASNY has a mission of educating, serving and supporting volunteer firefighters in the state.  The organization was founded in 1872 and it has about 40,000 members.

The earliest fire fighting apparatus on display is this 1725 Newsham Pumper.  It was imported from London in 1931 as ordered by the Common Council of New York City. (They ordered 2 of these units) With one of these pumpers, New York Engine Company #1 was formed. 

The Newsham Pumper was superior to previous pumpers in that it could provide a continuous stream of water vs. previous units that projected the water in spurts.  One downside was that this unit didn’t have a fifth wheel so it had to be manually lifted around corners…with all of its weight plus 170 gallons of water!

This is the very patriotic post Revolutionary War Yankee Pumper #5.  It dates back to 1783.  This hand operated side-stroke pumper served first in New York City and then in Catskill New York.  One strange feature was that it has 4 square cylinders and a square compression chamber!

This unusual and rare piece of firefighting apparatus is a hand pulled Bucket Machine.  It was used by the Jamaica, (Queens) New York volunteer fire department to fight fires in the outlying areas of Jamaica that lacked fire hydrants.  Volunteer firefighters were used to protect parts of Queens from 1797 until at least 1927.

This is another hand-drawn apparatus.  It’s an 1855 John Roger’s Engine and it was named “Sun”.  Originally, this unit was built in Baltimore for the Alexandria Virginia Volunteer Fire Company and it cost $2,400.00.  After being damaged in the Civil War by Union Troops, it was repaired and in 1887 it was sold to the Volunteer Firemen’s Association of New York City.  That organization used the “Sun” for campaigning and in parades until 1925 when it was donated to the museum. 

In addition to the elaborate paintings and other decorations, there are 4 fancy paintings on this unit.  They depict: Washington Crossing the Delaware; Pocahontas saving Captain John Smith; the Coat of Arms for Virginia and; the Virtue of the Military Genius of Virginia.

This photo is of an 1871 Lysander Button & Son hand-drawn Steamer.  It was used by the D.E. Ladow Company #2 in Mechanicsville New York.  It was rebuilt by the American Fire Engine Company in Seneca Falls back in 1907.  It’s hard to imagine a group of firemen manually pulling this pumper through the streets…

This is a 1904 Hand Drawn Service Sleigh.  It was built by Frederick Rice for the Oriskany Independent Fire & Hose Company.  Frederick was a charter member of this organization and he was also the village blacksmith.  Apparatus such as this were used to transport ladders, hose, nozzles, axes and other tools to winter fires.  The rollers it sits on made it easier to pull onto a snow or ice covered street.  This unit was in service from 1904 until 1923.

This was just Part 1 of a 2-part blog about this museum.  Part 2 will include much more modern fire engines as well as artifacts from 9/11…
This is a very interesting museum to visit and the cost is minimal… It’s only $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for children (free at 4 years of age or less).  The Firefighting Museum is open from 10 AM to 5 PM except on major holidays.  The FASNY Museum of Firefighting is located at 117 Harry Howard Avenue in Hudson New York.  Phone: 877-347-3687.  Website:
Just click on any photo to enlarge it…
Thanks for stopping by for another visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. When you look at that old equipment they had to use, it's easy to see why the whole town usually burned down.

  2. the attention to detail on the early equipment is so include detailed painintgs, just blows me away. Mindsets are way too different (not always in a good way)these days.

  3. What a fascinating exhibition.I loved the fir sleigh. Who ever would have thought :-). Thanks for taking us on this tour with you, Dave. I love these day trips. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

  4. David, Where did you get your information on the Yankee#5. And could you share that with me please! I tried contacting the museum. And I haven't heard back from them. Thanks!

    1. Bill, When I visit a museum, I always take photos of the signs that describe each exhibit as well as the exhibit itself. Then I just use that information along with the photo when I write my blog posting. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave