Guide to the Frank Seymour Firefighting Ephemera Collection
NMAH.AC.1232

Administrative Information

Repository Information

Archives Center, National Museum of American History, 2012

P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C., 20013-7012
Phone: 202-633-3270
archivescenter@si.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use note

Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Custodial History note

Transferred to the Archives Center in 2011 by the Division of Home and Community Life.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated by CIGNA through Roxanne Korostowski, Director, Relocation Services on August 19, 2005.

Processing Information note

Processed by Alison Oswald, archivist, 2012.

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Summary Information

Repository
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Creator
CIGNA
Creator - (collector).
Seymour, Frank
Title
Frank Seymour Firefighting Ephemera Collection
ID
NMAH.AC.1232
Date [inclusive]
1852-1957
Extent
0.3 Cubic feet, 2 boxes
Language
English
Language of Materials note
Some materials in French.
Abstract
The collection documents firefighting and fires in American history through newspaper and magazine illustrations, ephemera, and photographs. The emphasis is on large urban fires (New York City and Chicago) and industrial fires in the northeastern United States. There are some illustrations of cartoons, rescues, poems, fires on ships and clippings about great floods in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

Preferred Citation note

Frank Seymour Firefighting Ephemera Collection, 1852-1957, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.

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Scope and Contents note

The collection documents firefighting and fires in American history through newspaper and magazine illustrations, ephemera, and photographs. The emphasis is on large urban fires (New York City and Chicago) and industrial fires in the northeastern United States. There are some illustrations of cartoons, rescues, poems, fires on ships and clippings about great floods in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

Series 1, Newspaper clippings, 1852-1933, consists primarily of illustrations and text from  Harper's Weekly, but other publications represented include  Collier's Weekly,  Harper's New Monthly Magazine  Illustrated London News,  Leslie's Weekly,  Gleason's Pictorial, and  Scientific American. The clippings are arranged geographically by state and city. The majority of the clippings relate to fires, firemen, fire engines, and parades featuring fire equipment. There is one folder that relates to a fire on the steamship  Bienville, an explosion of the  H.L. Cotton, as well as the floods. There is some ethnic imagery depicting John Bull during the Civil War and antislavery movement in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania folder.

Series 2, Illustrations, [1939?], consists of printed color illustrations of fire engines from Kenneth Holcomb Dunshee's book,  Enjine! Enjine! published by Howard Vincent Smith of New York in 1939. The illustrations are arranged in an alphanumeric system (FS 105) assigned by Frank Seymour.

Series 3, Photographs and Ephemera, 1957 and undated, consists of primarily black-and-white photographs of engines, horse-drawn fire ambulances, a dog-drawn fire hose, an auction program for the Joseph L. Hallett Firemanic Collection, and a brochure for the National Fire Museum, Inc. of South Carver, Massachusetts. There is one color photograph of Ellie Mazur, undated.

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Arrangement note

The collection is arranged into three series.

Series 1, Newspaper Clippings, 1852-1933

Series 2, Illustrations, [1939?]

Series 3, Photographs and Ephemera, 1957 and undated

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Materials at the Archives Center, National Musuem of American History

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Fires and firefighting (series), circa 1821-1955.(AC0060)

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Fires and firefighting: stereographs, circa 1875-1888 (AC0060)

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Inventions: stereographs, 1880s (AC0060)

Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, [Firefighters working water pump: Active no. 1810. photonegative,] 1926. (AC0143)

Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, [Firefighters in action.] 2031 photonegative. (AC0143)

Jack Robrecht Firefighting Photographs (AC1231)

Materials at the Division of Home and Community Life, National Museum of American History

The Division of Home and Community Life Life holds fire-related artifacts. See Accession numbers: 2005.0233; 2005.0279; 2006.0247; 2007.0160; and 2007.0174.

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Articles
  • Illustrations
  • Postcards
  • Prints

Subject(s)

  • Disasters
  • Fire departments
  • Fire engines
  • Fire extinction
  • Firefighters
  • Fires
  • Ships--Fires and fire prevention

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Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements note

Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs, negatives, and slides.

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Collection Inventory

 Series 1, Newspaper Clippings, 1852-1933

Sacramento, California, 1853


  Box Folder
Text   1 1

San Francisco, California, 1898, 1906


  Box Folder
Text   1 2

Hartford, Connecticut, 1864


  Box Folder
Text   1 3

Chicago, Illinois, 1868, 1871, 1874


  Box Folder
Text   1 4

Portland, Maine, 1866


  Box Folder
Text   1 5

Baltimore, Maryland, 1904


  Box Folder
Text   1 6

Boston, Massachusetts, 1852-1853, 1872


  Box Folder
Text   1 7

Fall River, Massachusetts, 1874


  Box Folder
Text   1 8

Lynn, Massachusetts, 1868, 1889


  Box Folder
Text   1 9

Salem, Massachusetts, 1866


  Box Folder
Text   1 10

Jersey City, New Jersey, 1866, 1904


  Box Folder
Text   1 11

Brooklyn, New York, 1853, 1864, 1872 , 1877


  Box Folder
Text   1 12

New York City, 1858, 1876, 1884, 1898-1899, 1912


  Box Folder
Text   1 13

New York Fire Department/New York Fire Insurance Patrol /New York Fire Alarm Telegraph, 1858-1925


  Box Folder
Text   1 14

Saratoga Springs, New York, 1868


  Box Folder
Text   1 15

Cincinnati, Ohio, 1858, 1864


  Box Folder
Text   1 16

Dayton, Ohio, 1869


  Box Folder
Text   1 17

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1861


  Box Folder
Text   1 18

Hampton, Virginia, 1861


  Box Folder
Text   1 19

Cartoons, poems, rescues, 1867-1882


  Box Folder
Text   1 20

Explosion of the H.L. Cotton, 1868


  Box Folder
Text   1 21

Fire engines, steamers, hand pumpers, hose reels, fire boats, 1855-1933


  Box Folder
Text   1 22

Fire on steamship Bienville, 1872


  Box Folder
Text   1 23

Great floods (Cincinnati and Pittsburgh), 1884


  Box Folder
Text   1 24

 Series 2, Illustrations, [1939?]

Hayseed, Hudson Engine 1, New York, undated


  Box Folder
Mixed materials   2 2

Old Brass Backs, New York Engine 3, New York, undated


  Box Folder
Mixed materials   2 2

Red Rover, Howard Engine 34, New York, undated


  Box Folder
Mixed materials   2

Black Joke Engine 33, New York, undated


  Box Folder
Mixed materials   2 2

Old Maid, Chatham Engine 15, New York, undated

Lafayette Engine 19, New York, undated

The Blue Boys Jefferson Engine 26, New York, undated

Old Stag Clinton Engine 41, New York, undated

Mankiller Empire Engine 42, New York, undated

Old Brock Marion Engine 9, New York, undated

Mutton Hose Eagle Hose 1, New York, undated

Silver Nine Columbian Hose 9, New York, undated

The Ball Club Hook and Ladder 1, New York, undated


  Box Folder
Mixed materials   2 2

The Elephant, Manhattan Engine 8, New York, undated


  Box Folder
Mixed materials   2 2

 Series 3, Photographs and Ephemera, 1957 , undated

Box
2
Folder
1