Illustration of Dutch Fire (C. 1684) Illustration of Dutch Fire (C. 1684)

The value of historical documents for research can be seen in one of the oldest artifacts in the National Fire Heritage Center archives. Pictured is a newspaper story in a Dutch newspaper published in 1684, that shows the state of building technology in contrast to the evolution of fire protection technology. The illustrated picture of a 4-story townhouse shows the upper windows broken-out and soot smudging the outside structure. Charred contents removed from the house are piled at the foot of the stairs. The firefighting technology can be seen with a ladder, a length of rope and fire buckets in the foreground. Building technology had advanced in 1683, but it becomes evident that firefighting technology had not kept pace at this point.

Accession Number: [2013.048.021]

Slaughter, R. (2017). Annual Report (p. 10, Rep.). Emmitsburg, MD: National Fire Heritage Center.

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