Sunday, August 24, 2008

Denver Fire Department Museum

While first learning which bus stops on the 16th Street Mall let me off close to my destination, I found myself serendipitously on the wrong corner. There on the signpost above my head was an arrow pointing to "Denver Fire Department Museum." Not needing to be any particular place at any particular time, I headed off to find it.

Front door (duh!)

We're seriously spoiled by our computers and the like. This is what fire departments used to use

A little more modern,

According to the very bleary picture I took of the sign in front of this display, the first communications system used by the Denver Fire Department was word of mouth. Someone yelled fire, and every able-bodied person would grab a bucket and join in the line to put out the fire. Maybe a hundred years from now, people will look back at our methods and shake their heads at our bravery. I don't know about you, but standing nose to flames with a fire, armed only with a bucket? And even now, only with a hose spouting water. These guys are nuts, and I'm glad of it.

The following shows the fire alarm control panel in use from its invention in the early 1960s thru 1990, when it was replaced by computer aided dispatch. The left side had tape units that recorded conversations, allowing the operator to replay the information if needed. The right side, which doesn't show in these pictures, was the Register transmitter that identified which alarm was sounding, and the Gong Shunt Control, sending the alarm only to those firestations that needed to respond.

Some of the wonderful old equipment on display, an 1867 Gleason and Bailey Hand Drawn Pumper. According to the sign, it was purchased on October 1, 1867, and was only in operation for five years.

Hand drawn Pumpers were pulled by twelve to fifteen volunteer firefighters to the fire, who then pumped the water from the source out to the guys at the end of the hose. Notes:

According to the notes, this Steam Fire Engine is from the New York Fire Museum. Denver had its collection of steamers, and when they were retired, they were sold to greenhouses and cemeteries as irrigation pumps.

And some great pics of horse drawn fire wagons

Some random pics of horses and firemen

Hook and Ladder, and Uniform!

Info on Percheron Horses and Fire Dogs. I hope you can read it

An intrepid firefighter, in his first years

Ready for Anything!

And the Intrepid Younger Firefighter.

Horseless Carriage License for the Fire Department

And the truck it was on, whose sign did not come out clearly, so I'm not sure of it's official name

An early "Toy" Truck, called so by firemen because of all the cool fireman toys they carry. When I did the CERT refresher course, I met the current version of the toy truck. Awesome piece of equipment.

The sign says this is a 1953 Seagrave Engine

Upstairs, the lockers the firemen used. The pics I took of the inside locker display didn't come out so well. They had glass doors, and the best image in the picture is of me and the camera.

And eating area.

And the reminder the job is not an easy one

1 comment:

Lover of Firefighter Toys said...

I'm from Fort Collins and I've actually been to the Denver Fire Museum.

Amazing when you think of it. Putting out major fires with some of the equipment they had at their disposal must have been grueling.

Our grandson is a huge fan of anything fireman including firetruck toys and firefighter toys . You've heard of ambulance chasers...I see a firetruck chaser in our future with him.

Thanks for sharing all of the photos. I'm not good at photography and very rarely carry a camera so it was nice to reflect back on our visit there through your photos.