'Fire-Engine at Cincinnati' illustration   Save
Ohio History Connection Archives/Library
Description: This image of an early fire engine and firefighters in Cincinnati, Ohio, is from the "Illustrated London News." Observers in a tower note smoke in the distance and ring a bell to sound the alarm. The man in the back uses a firefighting trumpet, used to "call out" or announce the fire to assemble the call men. The image illustrates the technological limitations of early fire departments, even in fairly large cities. Before the introduction of horse-drawn fire engines in the mid-19th century, and later fire trucks, following the invention of the automobile, most fire engines were maneuvered by men. In 1853, the city of Cincinnati became the first to employ a professional fire department, made up of 100% full-time, paid employees. "Illustrated London News" had a wide circulation in the 19th century, and collections of issues were often bound together and saved by families so that children could read them for years to come. This image comes from a detached page that was hand-colored. Such illustrations are valuable, and were sometime separated from intact issues to be sold by antique dealers. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: OVS4552
Subjects: Fire engines & equipment; Fire fighters; Social services; Public safety; Cincinnati (Ohio)--History;
Places: Cincinnati (Ohio); Hamilton County (Ohio)