This museum is two levels, stairs only, with the lower level having a 1916 American LaFrance to a 1978 Boyer International. Before the LaFrance, is a long 1902 horse drawn Hayes Aerial Ladder. My photos show a total of 19 vehicle on this level. Many vehicles could be driven off the floor to a fire. This floor is called the Great Gallery.
The upper floor is three separate rooms starting with the Volunteer Gallery. One of the first exhibits is a 1731 imported hand pump for the New York City. working up to a 1935 Buffalo Fire Appliance Co. truck. In between is equipment possibly not known else where. Along two connecting walls are twelve long glass cases containing clothing, equipment & photos. A partial run down is as follows:
1.) Roman Emperor Augustus.
2.) Bucket Brigade.
3.) Notable Americans who served as volunteer firefighters.
4.) Fire marks.
5.) Different styles of early engines.
6.) The First Horse Service.
7.) Dalmatian & the Fire Service.
This room is what I call the 'Jewel Room' because of early equipment, designs & color.
The following room s the Steam Gallery. A large number of exhibits are very colorful & highly polished horse drawn steam engines.. Vehicles are from an 1871 Lysander Button & Son up to a 1925 Sanford Pumper. Also are horse drawn wagon, early type of hook & ladder & a 1904 Hand drawn service sleigh. Two separate exhibits that stand out are later 1800's Fire House- office & equipment and Dot & Dash system. This is the process of using Morse Code to report a fire before a call box was available.
The third room is 'To Aid And Assist'. Here are two of the museum's prettiest exhibits of mid 1860's & 1870's equipment, which appear gold plated. Other exhibits are 1952 Dodge Brush truck, 1860 Button Crane Neck Engine & a 1855 Horse drawn Sun Steam engine. There are a number of firefighting related paintings.
Each exhibit has an information stand and at least four DO NOT TOUCH cards.
Before visitors are allowed on the lower floor, they must view a mandatory sever-eight minute video on how they conduct their selves, keep the sound down, keeping their children in check, NO food or drink on the floors, NO Touching any exhibit & NO FLASH photography of any painting, as the flash can damage the paint. There is one restroom on the lower floor, can't say if any restroom on the upper floor. A gift shop is available, where admissions is located.
Any visitor interested in firefighting, vehicles/exhibits of the museum's time periods or a different type of history will enjoy a visit. My visit was from 10:00 to 1:15. If a visitor has photography in mind plenty of lighting & space between exhibits. Large parking lot. I had the museum mostly to my self till about 11:00. I talk to at least five staff members, answering all my questions.
I highly recommend a lengthy visit.
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