Museum Hours

10 a.m. to 5 p.m*  Daily
* see specifications on the "Hours and Admission" page

Closed Independence Day,
Memorial Day, Easter,
Christmas, Thanksgiving,
New Year’s Day

Admission

Adults: $7

Children: $5
(age 3 and older)

Family: $20
(2 adults and their 2 children)

Children under age 3: FREE

Museum and FASNY Members: FREE

The Museum also
participates in the Empire State Reciprocal Program and NARM.
Members of these programs will also receive FREE admission, as per the Museum's policy: see the "Hours and Admission" page for more info.

117 Harry Howard Ave.
Hudson, NY 12534
518.822.1875



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Press Releases
 
January 2013

The Holiday Season Brings Programs, Projects and a Gift to the Museum

The FASNY Museum of Firefighting rang in the holidays with new programming and projects, as well as a gift. On December 8, 2012, the Museum hosted pictures with Santa on a firetruck. Over 60 families turned out to enjoy this family friendly activity. Jolly old St. Nick listened to children’s wish lists and took a picture with each child, which was free with admission to the Museum. In addition to this activity, during their visit children were able to participate in the Museum’s new holiday scavenger hunt. Families strolled through the Museum and looked for ten holiday scenes on various fire trucks. Playful penguins, holiday horses, mischievous monkeys, cuddly Christmas cats and more stuffed animals were displayed in holiday scenes throughout the Museum. Younger children tried to find all ten holiday scenes and indentify the animals they found in the scenes. Older children also tried to figure out what special gifts Santa left for the animals for Christmas by reading the clues given in the scavenger hunt booklet. All children received a prize for their efforts. This was an ongoing activity, which began after Thanksgiving and continued through New Year’s Eve. Both programs were very well received and provided visitors with interactive family fun.

The students in the FASNY Museum of Firefighting’s afterschool program spent the holiday season assembling and decorating gingerbread firehouses. The gingerbread houses represented three of the firehouses in Hudson: C.H. Evans, H.W. Rogers and J.W. Hoystradt. The firehouses were displayed at Tanzy’s, located at 223 Warren St. Hudson, as part of the festive window décor in local business windows that complimented the Winter Walk celebration in Hudson. Students from the Montgomery C. Smith Intermediate School participated in the afterschool program, and this segment of the program explored local firefighting history. This included learning about Hudson’s fire department history, the firehouses of the 1800s and creating the gingerbread firehouses.

The Museum staff also recently accepted a gift to the Museum’s collections, albeit a little after the holidays. A framed giclée print of John F. Gould’s painting "McQuoid Engine #3” was donated to the Museum by the artist’s son, Robert Gould. The artist, John F. Gould, (1906-1996) was born in Worcester, Massachusetts and studied art at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, continuing his career there as an instructor for twenty-two years. Gould was a prominent illustrator for the Saturday Evening Post, as well as an illustrator for many national corporations. The artist was partial to historical subjects and his oil and watercolor paintings are in many private collections. The inspiration for this print came from Gould’s boyhood memories and a book written by Charles Radzinsky on the history of the Middletown Fire Department. Mr. Radzinsky was also a former Curator of the FASNY Museum of Firefighting.

 

The horse drawn steamer pictured was operated by McQuoid Co. #3, East Main Street in Middletown, New York, from 1907 until the apparatus was retired from service. The steamer was kept as a relic for many years by the fire company until being sold off in 1940. The setting of the painting is known as Franklin Square and is depicted, circa 1915, in great detail. The Museum staff was thrilled to accept this print, particularly because of the subject matter and the inspiration drawn, in part, from the work of the FASNY Museum of Firefighting’s former Curator, Mr. Radzinsky. The framed print has been added to the exhibition Legacy: Robert Fulton and the Commercial Utilization of the Steam Engine, which features five fire steamers and a wealth of information concerning these interesting apparatus.


August 20, 2012

NEH Grant Helps the Museum Preserve Firefighting History
 

Often Museum staff members are asked by visitors, "Why is the artifact I donated to the Museum not on exhibit?” The answer is usually that the artifact is "resting” in the collections storage area. Most museums exhibit only about 25% of their collection at any given time. This is to allow the majority of the collection to "rest.” Rest for an artifact means that it is housed in an area where variables are greatly controlled or limited, and this allows the artifact to age at a much slower rate, increasing the artifact’s longevity. These variables include light, humidity and temperature. Also included in this list of variables is the mounting treatment of the artifact. The mounting treatment is the way in which the artifact is exhibited. Often times the mounting treatment for exhibit includes propping the artifact up or down in unusual ways to make the artifact easier for the visitor to view. Although museums do take caution to use archival padding and mounts to exhibit artifacts, these mounting treatments can cause wear on artifacts or exert unusual pressure on already worn seams or joints.  In a museum’s collections storage area, all of these variables are reduced or eliminated, making the collections storage area the ideal environment to house an artifact. Museums also rotate objects within the same exhibit every few months to give various artifacts the opportunity to rest. For instance, in the FASNY Museum of Firefighting’s orientation exhibit, "Then, Now and Always: Firefighting from the Cradle of Rome through the 1900s,” if you were to visit the Museum in January, you would not see the same leather helmets on exhibit in the 1800s section of the exhibit as you would in October. You would see leather helmets representative of the 1800s period, but the helmets would have been rotated with other helmets to help insure that all of the helmets of that era had the opportunity to rest. These concerns are also why the Museum does not accept artifacts into the collections that have the stipulation of "must be displayed” as a condition of the donation. The Museum Staff and Board must always be cognizant of the standards set by American Association of Museums (AAM) concerning collections care when considering a donation. Not only must the Museum Staff be able to rest the artifact, the Museum Staff must be certain that it is able to continue to care for the artifact for the entirety of the artifact’s life in a way that is consistent with the current "best practices” in the Museum field and AAM standards.

 

To that end, the FASNY Museum of Firefighting recently completed work on improving the Museum’s archival storage areas with funding received through a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant. The Museum staff purchased supplies, which included Coroplast, Ethafoam and Tyvek, in an effort to refit the current collections storage shelving units and bring them up to modern collection storage standards. During the project, the Museum staff worked to measure, cut and install the Coroplast, Ethafoam and Tyvek on the shelving units in the storage areas. The installation of these supplies better insures the preservation of the artifacts in the collection.  Specifically, the Coroplast provides a level base for the artifacts to sit on, rather than the gridded framework of the shelving units which the artifacts previously sat on. This is important because the gridded shelves applied pressure on various points of the artifacts, which could have caused long term wear at these pressure points.The Coroplast also helps to neutralize corrosive gases that may harm Museum artifacts in the collection that are made of silver, copper, brass, bronze and ferrous metals.  The Ethafoam, which was placed on top of the Coroplast, provides a much needed layer of padding for Museum objects when they are resting on the shelves. Finally, the Tyvek, which was used to drape all the shelving units, serves a dual purpose. In addition to protecting artifacts from the detrimental effects of light and dust, the breathable Tyvek covers can protect the artifacts from environmental fluctuations, such as major changes in humidity.  As a result of the storage improvement grant from NEH, the FASNY Museum of Firefighting’s collections care has been modernized and is currently up-to-date with AAM standards. This insures that these wonderful artifacts will be stored in a stable environment, which in turn insures that they will be here for future generations of Americans to contemplate and enjoy.

The FASNY Museum of Firefighting is the home of the premiere collection of American firefighting objects in the world. Fifty thousand square feet of exhibits featuring fire engines, equipment and gear depict the history of the American firefighter. Activities for children include creative play on selected fire engines, educational activities and the Cabot/McCadam Fire Safety and Prevention Discovery Room. The Museum is open daily from 10am until 5pm (the Museum is closed on Memorial Day, 4th of July, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.) To learn more about the Museum, visit the Museum website at: www.fasnyfiremuseum.com   

 
 
July 7, 2012
Staff Changes Bring New Energy to the Museum
 
The FASNY Museum of Firefighting has recently made some staff changes. These changes will help the Museum to grow and to better serve the community, the collection and the Museum visitor. Mary Ann Iaccino, formerly the Visitor Service Manager at the Museum, has assumed the newly created position of Museum Educator. In this position, Mary Ann will evaluate and expand the educational programming at the Museum. This includes the Museum’s after school program, distance learning programs, on site tours, interactive components in exhibits and more. A former teacher in the Dutchess County area, MaryAnn has the capability to confer with and cultivate local educators, building partnerships that help the Museum to better serve the community. MaryAnn also has the wonderful ability to tailor a tour for the particular group she is guiding, keying on their interest in subjects as she presents them and expanding and contracting the program where she sees fit. This ability to "think on her feet” and adapt has served to produce tours that better meet the needs and interests of various groups. MaryAnn has also used the collection as the foundation for creating new programs for the Museum, such as the Summer Workshop Program. This innovative program teaches children about a segment of the Museum’s collection, relates it to the arts in a wider context and then guides the students, as they create an arts based project built on their newly gained knowledge. Programming such as this helps educate young people concerning the Museum’s world-class collection and its significance, as it relates to the history of their community, their State and their Nation. It also serves to enrich the lives of children by giving them a broader sense of the cultural arts. MaryAnn will also focus on adding more interactive components to the Museum’s exhibits, strengthening both the education and entertainment value of the exhibitions. MaryAnn holds a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Education.
 
The position of Museum Educator was made possible due to a grant awarded to the Museum from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA.) NYSCA is dedicated to preserving and expanding the rich and diverse cultural resources that are and will become the heritage of New York's citizens. NYSCA strives to achieve its mission through its core grant-making activity and by convening field leaders, providing information and advisory support, and working with partners on special initiatives to achieve mutual goals. Further, NYSCA's vision for cultural development in the state is reflected in the following goals:
  • Sustaining a vital ecosystem of individual artists and cultural organizations that supports the  creation, presentation, critical review, and distribution of the arts and culture
  • Celebrating our rich range of artistic and cultural resources inclusive of diverse cultures and aesthetics
  • Encouraging artistic and discipline field advancement
  • Broadening public access, appreciation, participation, and education in the arts and culture throughout the state
  • Providing recognition and professional advancement for artists and arts administrators.
To learn more about NYSCA, visit their website online at www.nysca.org
 
Since MaryAnn Iaccino assumed the role of Museum Educator, the position of Visitor Services Manager was left vacant. Accepting the role of Visitor Services Manager is a fresh, new face at the Museum, Lori Decker. Lori comes to the Museum with a duel background, having had thirteen years of customer service experience in various fields and also having been the principle in a New York State registered family daycare business. Lori will continue to offer the outstanding customer service enjoyed by visitors and expand upon staff customer service and operational training. Lori will also focus on a variety of other tasks for the Museum, including existing earned income programs and events. Lori will also be challenged to develop new earned income programs and events for the Museum, as well as coordinate a new volunteer program. She brings to her position an enthusiasm for the Museum and all it has to offer the community. Lori holds a Bachelor of Business Administration.
 
Mary Zawacki is also a new face at the Museum, assuming the role of Collections Manager. Mary comes to the Museum having gained valuable experience during internships at the Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums in the UK, The National Trust in the UK, The Adirondack Museum and Historic Huguenot Street. She has already made great strides in better organizing the collection and is currently in the midst of reorganizing the Museum’s archival collection. Mary has also made quite an impression on the many school groups that visit the Museum. Large groups require two tour guides and Mary has been assisting the Museum Educator, Mary Ann Iaccino, by leading half the group on a tour while MaryAnn presents a coordinating education program to the other half of the group, and then the groups switch. This affords multiple educational experiences to all of the students. Mary’s grasp of the information and her animated presentation of the tour program has helped history come alive for these students. Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies.
 
With the addition of the new position of Museum Educator and the hire of new staff members, the FASNY Museum of Firefighting has been reenergized and is now poised to attain a new stature within the local community, the fire service community and the museum community. This will ultimately be accomplished by offering outstanding education programs, fascinating and comprehensive exhibitions that highlight the Museum’s unparalleled collection and significant special events with mass appeal.
 
The FASNY Museum of Firefighting is the home of the premiere collection of American firefighting objects in the world. Fifty thousand square feet of exhibits featuring fire engines, equipment and gear depict the history of the American firefighter. Activities for children include creative play on selected fire engines, educational activities and the Cabot/McCadam Fire Safety and Prevention Discovery Room. The Museum is open daily from 10am until 5pm (the Museum is closed on Memorial Day, 4th of July, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.) To learn more about the Museum, visit the Museum website at: www.fasnyfiremuseum.com
 
 
May 8, 2012
Museum Publishes New Photo Book Exclusively for Museum Members Only
 
Recently the Museum staff, with assistance from Anthony Buono, a member of the Museum’s Board of Directors, published a new, limited edition apparatus photo book. The book entitled "One Last Run: Apparatus Photographs from the Archives of the FASNY Museum of Firefighting,” features over thirty photographs from the Museum’s photography collection and is expected to be the first in a series of Museum photography compilations. Although the volume was edited and designed by the Museum’s Executive Director, Jamie Smith Quinn, the entire Museum staff was instrumental in assisting with this project and insuring its success. The photographs Mr. Buono selected really make this volume special, as many of them have never been published before, and his accompanying text also provides interesting tidbits about the particular apparatus pictured. As Mr. Buono’s forward attests, he learned a lot about the Museum’s collection from completing the research for this text:

"Ultimately, selecting the photographs for this compilation and researching information for the captions was a very enjoyable task. I was surprised at how much I learned as I researched the captions for these photographs. But, I was even more surprised by how much I learned about the many wonderful and varied artifacts in the Museum collection. The world-class collection of apparatus is the most visible part of the vast collection of the Museum. That is the part that drew me to the Museum. That is also what motivated me to accept a position on the Museum Board of Directors.  But, there is so much more to the collection. There is a wonderful collection of portraits, lithographs and other fine art. There are thousands of smaller artifacts, such as toys, badges, speaking trumpets, helmets, flags and uniforms. The Museum also houses one of the finest libraries of firematic books and, of course, there are the archives, which contain thousands of photographs of apparatus.”
 
This book is being offered to Museum members only, when they renew their membership or when a new Museum member joins. Museum membership has many benefits besides this free book. Museum members receive invitations to exhibit openings, notification of other Museum events, a discount in the Museum gift shop, free admission to seventeen other New York State Museums and the satisfaction that they are helping to preserve the premiere collection of firefighting artifacts in the world. These benefits and more are available to those who become a Museum member at any level. However, those who choose to join at higher levels enjoy even greater benefits. At the Family level ($50), members can take advantage of a Museum birthday tour for a group of up to ten children. This includes a guided tour with Museum staff, interactive programs, crafts in the Cabot/McCadam Discovery Room and birthday bags with firematic goodies for each child. Members at the Lieutenant level ($100) can avail themselves of two hours of curatorial research by the Museum staff, if they should have a firefighting history query. They also receive another gift, a firefighting DVD, in addition to the Museum book. As the membership levels continue upward, additional benefits are offered, so please visit the Museum website at www.fasnyfiremuseum.com for full details. While there, consider using the Museum’s secure website to become a Museum member online.

Membership is incredibly important to the Museum. A solid membership base shows grantors that the Museum is an asset to its community and beyond. This in turn makes them more willing to invest in the Museum and its initiatives. It also offers the Museum a stream of income, which in these trying economic times, is most welcome.  We hope you will consider becoming one of the growing number of Museum members who truly value the history of firefighting. Through their Museum membership gift, Museum members insure the health and wellbeing of the Museum and in turn, that of the incredible artifacts the Museum houses.
 
The FASNY Museum of Firefighting is the home of the premiere collection of American firefighting objects in the world. Fifty thousand square feet of exhibits featuring fire engines, equipment and gear depict the history of the American firefighter. Activities for children include creative play on selected fire engines, educational activities and the Cabot/McCadam Fire Safety and Prevention Discovery Room. The Museum is open daily from 10am until 5pm (the Museum is closed on Memorial Day, 4th of July, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.) To learn more about the Museum, visit the Museum website at: www.fasnyfiremuseum.com
 
 
April 24, 2012
Conservation Completed on Portrait of Harry Howard
 
The FASNY Museum of Firefighting recently had conservation work completed on a portrait in the Museum’s collection. The work was made possible by a grant in support of conservation work on the oil and canvas portrait of Harry Howard by Joseph H. Johnson. This grant also included the conservation of the portrait’s frame and was awarded by the Greater Hudson Heritage Network. The Greater Hudson Heritage Network serves member cultural organizations, their staffs, their boards and their communities in counties of the greater Hudson Valley - Metropolitan region. This organization offers technical assistance, a resource network, professional development opportunities and financial assistance for conservation through their grant program. The FASNY Museum of Firefighting was fortunate to be awarded such a grant for conservation, and so the Harry Howard portrait and frame, one of many true treasures in the Museums vast collections, received the conservation work it so dearly needed and deserved.
 
The portrait is both culturally and historically significant, but to understand the significance of Harry Howard’s portrait, you must grasp the history and culture of volunteer firefighting in New York City during the early to mid 1800’s. During the 1800’s the only way to get the up-to-the-minute news of the day was to be at the newsworthy event as it unfolded. Fires were both newsworthy events and social gathering places, where great numbers of the populous would congregate to watch the fury of the fire and watch the firemen battle it. During the 1800’s, citizens actually had "favorite” fire companies, just as we have favorite sports teams today. They would root for their favorite fire company during the fire and applaud the firemen’s daring deeds. The firemen of the 1800’s literally were the action heroes of their era. Songs and plays were written in their honor and a firefighter was considered to be men of danger and courage. The really daring and gallant firefighters were so popular they were bona fide celebrities in New York State and beyond. And the most popular and well-known firefighter of his generation (and probably any generation before or after) was Harry Howard.
 
Howard’s personal life story is compelling as well. As a baby, he was left by a mysterious couple in the care of Sarah Howard, with the understanding that the couple would return for him in a one year. The couple never returned to retrieve the baby and Sarah Howard adapted him, naming him Harry Howard. Early on, Howard became a "runner” (a youngster who would run along with the fire company to fire calls in hopes of helping however possible, and in future joining the company.) He joined the fire company when he became of legal age and became an assistant foreman and foreman of the company. He was lauded for his bravery and one of his brave acts included the rescue of Samuel A. Prang, a young boy, wedged between a safe and a roof after the roof collapsed. Howard heard his shouts from the second floor and rescued him with no regard for his personal safety. This was one of many such rescues Howard performed. As chief, he instated the "bunk” system, which allowed firefighters to sleep at the fire station, in order to achieve quick response times when a fire call came in. He adopted a policy of attacking a fire as quickly and savagely as possible, so it could be knocked down with minimal loss, pushing his men to aggressively attack the fire with little regard for personal safety. His systems worked so well he was able to decrease insurance rates for fire protection during his tenure as chief. The New York Times called his service as chief "brilliant.”He was elected to the Assembly and was elected an alderman as well. His fame was such that he had a square in New York City named after him, an avenue in Hudson, New York and several fire companies were named after him in New York City as well. He was grand marshal of many parades of the day, including the parade celebrating the laying of the first Atlantic cable in 1858. It was the standard during these events that Howard would receive a standing ovation all the way along the route. He eventually retired from the fire service in 1860, due to paralysis, thought by his Doctor to be caused by his years of hard physical labor as a firefighter. He had served 25 years as an active duty fireman, but was a famous, larger-than-life figure until his death in 1896. His funeral was one of the largest gatherings of firemen, public officials and friends that New York City had ever seen.
 
This attempt to try to explain Chief Howard’s portrait’s significance both historically and culturally is difficult. Although apt reasoning has already been put forward, it is hard to relate how much this man meant to his generation. Every young boy of his time wanted to be him, every man of his generation respected him and every woman was awed by his sheer presence. He influenced the history of firefighting and culturally brought firemen to the brink of superstardom during his time. His herculean frame, iron constitution and nerves of steel were legendary in the fire service. Just as the firemen’s badge and helmet are cultural icons, this man is a cultural icon. It can be argued that there has been no equal to him in public service before or since his time. A well executed portrait depicts not only a realistic visual appearance of the sitter, but their inner essence as well. This portrait of Chief Harry Howard captures a leader of men: a man of confidence and vision at the pinnacle of his career. It is this confidence and vision that allowed Chief Howard to push his men to the brink, holding back death and destruction. Chief Howard was a man among men and all of the residents of New York State respected him and held him in the highest esteem.
 
The conservation on the portrait and the frame was done by Conservator Thomas Branchick of the Williamstown Art Conservation Center. He performed over 50 hours of conservation work on the portrait and frame, including, but not limited to, removing dust and grime, removing discoloration, filling in paint loss, applying a final varnish, repairing broken elements on the frame and recasting missing ornaments on the frame. It is the hope of the Museum staff that now that the conservation is completed, the portrait might be presented to the public again in a new exhibit that displays this and some of the other wonderful portraits in the Museum’s collection. It is hoped that the presentation of these portraits, along with personal artifacts from the firefighters’ lives, coupled with their personal stories will again bring the life and times of these heroic men alive to the visitor.
 
The FASNY Museum of Firefighting is the home of the premiere collection of American firefighting objects in the world. Fifty thousand square feet of fire engines, equipment and gear depict the history of the American firefighter. Activities for children include creative play on selected fire engines, educational activities and the McCadam Fire Safety and Prevention Discovery Room. The Museum is open daily from 10am until 5pm (the Museum is closed on Memorial Day, 4th of July, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.) For more information visit the Museum online at: www.fasnyfiremuseum.com
 
 
January 25, 2012
Museum Adds New Educational Component to Website
 
The FASNY Museum of Firefighting recently created an addition to the Museum's website: an educational component that incorporates a virtual tour. Specifically, the new component, entitled Then, Now and Always: Firefighting from Ancient Times through the 1900s, divides the eras of firefighting history into segments and describes them online in the new educational component pages that were created for the website. The descriptions include the firefighting history for each era, a description of apparatus and equipment used and also notes the technological improvements of each era, creating a virtual snapshot of each era in firefighting history. The written information on these subjects is kept to a minimum, so that the target audience, children ages 6 to 12, can easily assimilate the information.
 
In addition, the component offers "teasers." These are questions posed to the visitor in a humorous or interesting way to pique their interest. When the teaser is rolled over, the answer to the teaser appears, as well as an appropriate picture of an artifact from the Museum’s collection. This, in effect, creates a virtual tour of the collection for the visitor. Another feature of the website is a roll over button for the "Innovation of the Era.” This feature highlights the single most important innovation in firefighting history for each era and describes the innovation, which is accompanied by a picture from the Museum’s collection. All of this information is presented in a format that is interactive. This type of self directed interaction online has been found in studies (the most recent being a study done by the University of California, Berkeley) to provide a high level of learning in regards to children. In fact it was noted that the single biggest advantage of online learning over traditional methods is the interactivity online learning provides to children. Teacher materials are also offered in this online component, which can be printed out and used in conjunction with the information presented online. This new educational component can be utilized by visiting the Museum’s website at www.fasnyfiremuseum.com and accessing the new component from the home page.
 
The creation of this component was in direct response to the many inquiries the Museum received from children concerning information about firefighting history and the lack of an online site that provided this information in an interactive format specifically tailored for children. This new educational component will make researching historical information about the history of firefighting both fun and enlightening for students who need this information for school reports, or simply are curious about the storied history of firefighting in New York State. Although specifically created with children in mind, visitors of all ages will enjoy this exciting trek through firefighting history. We invite the readers of the Firefighter to visit the Museum website and experience all of the features this new educational component has to offer. This new educational component for the Museum website was made possible by grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.
 

The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) is dedicated to preserving and expanding the rich and diverse cultural resources that are and will become the heritage of New York's citizens. NYSCA strives to achieve its mission through its core grant-making activity and by convening field leaders, providing information and advisory support, and working with partners on special initiatives to achieve mutual goals. Further, NYSCA's vision for cultural development in the state is reflected in the following goals:

  • Sustaining a vital ecosystem of individual artists and cultural organizations that supports the creation, presentation, critical review, and distribution of the arts and culture
  • Celebrating our rich range of artistic and cultural resources inclusive of diverse cultures and aesthetics
  • Encouraging artistic and discipline field advancement
  • Broadening public access, appreciation, participation, and education in the arts and culture throughout the state
  • Providing recognition and professional advancement for artists and arts administrators.
To learn more about NYSCA, visit their website online at www.nysca.org
 
The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) builds stronger, more vibrant communities and improves the quality of life for all residents of Berkshire County, MA., Columbia County, N.Y., northeast Dutchess County, N.Y. and northwest Litchfield County, CT. Since 1987, BTCF has been an agent for positive change in the region they serve. In education, health care, basic human services, transportation, the arts, youth and senior programs, their grants touch all aspects of life and every person in the Berkshire Taconic Region. Each year, they help thousands of donors achieve their philanthropic goals and hundreds of non- profit organizations carry on their good work. To learn more about BTCF, visit their website online at www.berkshiretaconic.org

. The FASNY Museum of Firefighting is the home of the premiere collection of American firefighting objects in the world. Fifty thousand square feet of fire engines, equipment and gear depict the history of the American firefighter. Activities for children include creative play on selected fire engines, educational activities and the McCadam Fire Safety and Prevention Discovery Room. The Museum is open daily from 10am until 5pm (the Museum is closed on Memorial Day, 4th of July, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.) For more information visit the Museum online at: www.fasnyfiremuseum.com
 
 
September 25, 2011
Museum Receives Grant Awards
 
The FASNY Museum of Firefighting was recently awarded a grant by TD Bank Charitable Foundation. This grant was awarded in support of the Museum’s well established distance learning program. The Museum Staff and Board are very pleased to have TD Bank Charitable Foundation as a partner in distance learning. Their support has made it possible for the Museum to expand both the number of schools the Museum serves with distance learning and the number of programs the Museum presents. The Museum added a history program to its distance learning offerings last year. This program centers around the Industrial Revolution and the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Through the presentation of graphics and a tour of the Museum’s apparatus that focuses on the evolution of fire apparatus, the students are better able to grasp what the workers and the firefighters faced during this horrific fire. The students are also presented with the numerous fire safety and prevention laws that were enacted because of this historic fire, many of which we take for granted today. This history component compliments the Museum’s other two distance learning classes that focus on science and fire safety and prevention. These classes are The Science of Fire with Professor Sparks and Fire Safety and Prevention with Firefighter Fran. If your school district is interested in having the Museum present any of these distance learning classes to their students, have them contact the Museum at 518-822-1875.
 
Each year, TD Bank provides financial assistance for a variety of cultural and community events, as well as education and health and human services organizations. Grants are provided through the TD Charitable Foundation. In 2008, the organization donated $13.7 Million through the TD Charitable Foundation, and provided $8.1 Million in community sponsorships to thousands of groups across the entire TD Bank, North America market. To learn more about TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank,® visit www.tdbank.com
. The Museum also recently was awarded a grant by the Greater Hudson Heritage Network, in support of conservation work on the oil and canvas portrait of Harry Howard by Joseph H. Johnson. This grant also includes the conservation of the portrait’s frame. The Greater Hudson Heritage Network serves member cultural organizations, their staffs, their boards and their communities in counties of the greater Hudson Valley - Metropolitan region. This organization offers technical assistance, a resource network, professional development opportunities and financial assistance for conservation through their grant program. This year, 52 grant applications were received from institutions requesting an aggregate of $280,512 in grant support. 24 awards totaling $101,503 were recommended by a peer panel of conservators, curators and museum professionals. The FASNY Museum of Firefighting was fortunate to be one of these grant award recipients, and so the Harry Howard portrait and frame, one of many true treasures in the Museums vast collections, will receive the conservation work it so dearly needs and deserves.
 
This portrait is both culturally and historically significant, but to understand the significance of Harry Howard’s portrait, you must grasp the history and culture of volunteer firefighting in New York City during the early to mid 1800’s. During the 1800’s the only way to get the up-to-the-minute news of the day was to be at the newsworthy event as it unfolded. Fires were both newsworthy events and social gathering places, where great numbers of the populous would congregate to watch the fury of the fire and watch the firemen battle it. During the 1800’s, citizens actually had "favorite” fire companies, just as we have favorite sports teams today. They would root for their favorite fire company during the fire and applaud the firemen’s daring deeds. The firemen of the 1800’s literally were the action heroes of their era. Songs and plays were written in their honor and a firefighter was considered to be men of danger and courage. The really daring and gallant firefighters were so popular they were bona fide celebrities in New York State and beyond. And the most popular and well-known firefighter of his generation (and probably any generation before or after) was Harry Howard.
 
Howard’s personal life story is compelling as well. As a baby, he was left by a mysterious couple in the care of Sarah Howard, with the understanding that the couple would return for him in a one year. The couple never returned to retrieve the baby and Sarah Howard adapted him, naming him Harry Howard. Early on, Howard became a "runner” (a youngster who would run along with the fire company to fire calls in hopes of helping however possible, and in future joining the company.) He joined the fire company when he became of legal age and became an assistant foreman and foreman of the company. He was lauded for his bravery and one of his brave acts included the rescue of Samuel A. Prang, a young boy, wedged between a safe and a roof after the roof collapsed. Howard heard his shouts from the second floor and rescued him with no regard for his personal safety. This was one of many such rescues Howard performed. As chief, he instated the "bunk” system, which allowed firefighters to sleep at the fire station, in order to achieve quick response times when a fire call came in. He adopted a policy of attacking a fire as quickly and savagely as possible, so it could be knocked down with minimal loss, pushing his men to aggressively attack the fire with little regard for personal safety. His systems worked so well he was able to decrease insurance rates for fire protection during his tenure as chief. The New York Times called his service as chief "brilliant.”He was elected to the Assembly and was elected an alderman as well. His fame was such that he had a square in New York City named after him, an avenue in Hudson, New York and several fire companies were named after him in New York City as well. He was grand marshal of many parades of the day, including the parade celebrating the laying of the first Atlantic cable in 1858. It was the standard during these events that Howard would receive a standing ovation all the way along the route. He eventually retired from the fire service in 1860, due to paralysis, thought by his Doctor to be caused by his years of hard physical labor as a firefighter. He had served 25 years as an active duty fireman, but was a famous, larger-than-life figure until his death in 1896. His funeral was one of the largest gatherings of firemen, public officials and friends that New York City had ever seen.
 
This attempt to try to explain Chief Howard’s portrait’s significance both historically and culturally is difficult. Although apt reasoning has already been put forward, it is hard to relate how much this man meant to his generation. Every young boy of his time wanted to be him, every man of his generation respected him and every woman was awed by his sheer presence. He influenced the history of firefighting and culturally brought firemen to the brink of superstardom during his time. His herculean frame, iron constitution and nerves of steel were legendary in the fire service. Just as the firemen’s badge and helmet are cultural icons, this man is a cultural icon. It can be argued that there has been no equal to him in public service before or since his time.
 
A well executed portrait depicts not only a realistic visual appearance of the sitter, but their inner essence as well. This portrait of Chief Harry Howard captures a leader of men: a man of confidence and vision at the pinnacle of his career. It is this confidence and vision that allowed Chief Howard to push his men to the brink, holding back death and destruction. Chief Howard was a man among men and all of the residents of New York State respected him and held him in the highest esteem. The conservation on the portrait and the frame will be done by Conservator Thomas Branchick of the Williamstown Art Conservation Center. He will perform over 50 hours of conservation work on the portrait and frame, including, but not limited to, removing dust and grime, removing discoloration, filling in paint loss, applying a final varnish, repairing broken elements on the frame and recasting missing ornaments on the frame. It is the hope of the Museum staff that after this conservation is complete, the portrait might be presented to the public again in a new exhibit that displays this and some of the other wonderful portraits in the Museum’s collection. It is hoped that the presentation of these portraits, along with personal artifacts from the firefighters’ lives, coupled with their personal stories will again bring the life and times of these heroic men alive to the visitor.
 
The FASNY Museum of Firefighting is the home of the premiere collection of American firefighting objects in the world. Fifty thousand square feet of fire engines, equipment and gear depict the history of the American firefighter. Activities for children include creative play on selected fire engines, educational activities and the McCadam Fire Safety and Prevention Discovery Room. The Museum is open daily from 10am until 5pm (the Museum is closed on Memorial Day, 4th of July, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.) For more information visit the Museum online at: www.fasnyfiremuseum.com
 
 
August 12, 2011
Social Favor and Local Flavor: A New Exhibit at the Museum
 
The FASNY Museum of Firefighting opened a new exhibit on June 10, 2011. The exhibit is entitled Social Favor and Local Flavor: the Firehouse of the 1800’s. It was created with the assistance of the students from the FASNY Museum of Firefighting’s Museum Studies After School Program, in cooperation with the Hudson City School District. Students in this program spent many hours researching their local firehouses. The result is a new and engaging exhibit. The exhibit opening was attended by many Hudson firefighters, Museum members, local dignitaries and the students of the Museum Studies After School Program and their families. The C.H. Evans Brewing Company of the Albany Pump Station (www.evansale.com) provided their wonderful beer for the occasion (for those of age.) The C.H. Evans Brewing Company is owned by Neal Evans, a descendant of C.H. Evans, who was a local Hudson brewer and patron of his namesake firehouse, which is located in Hudson as well. A longtime Museum corporate supporter and New York cheese maker McCadam Cheese (www.mccadam.coop) provided their tasty cheeses for the event. This festive evening seemed to be enjoyed by all who attended.
 
The history of the Hudson fire companies provides the local flavor to the exhibit. The Hudson fire companies highlighted in the exhibit include J.W. Edmonds, C.H. Evans, H.W. Rogers, J.W. Hoysradt, Phoenix Hose and Washington Hose. Each fire company has a digital frame scrolling photographs pertaining to their firehouse. The exhibit also features a segment that details each company’s history and highlights any special tidbits found during the research done for the exhibit. There is also an audio component to the exhibit that features narrated accounts of some of the major fires that occurred in Hudson over the years. This audio presentation was recorded, with the assistance of Bill Williams of the Hudson Radio Stations, by the students in the Museum Studies After School Program. The exhibit also includes a walking tour brochure concerning the Hudson firehouses that visitors can take with them. They can then complete a walking tour of the downtown firehouses at their convenience. The walking tour booklet was created by the students of the Museum Studies After School Program and contains pictures and information that piqued the students’ interest during their research.
 
The exhibit also includes a scaled down version of the inside of an 1800’s firehouse. The visitor can walk around the firehouse social room, which showcases the elegance and sophistication of the firehouses of the 1800’s. This reproduction setting is not based on any singular firehouse’s floor plan, but rather is a compilation of the firehouses of the 1800’s in general. The exhibit also has panels that detail the firehouse of the 1800’s and explain why it was the center of community life during this era and also why belonging to a firehouse was a social "must” for any ambitious young man during this era. In addition, the exhibit includes an interactive called "Name That Engine,” which challenges the visitor to match the colorful nicknames of the engines of the 1800’s to the illustrations of those engines.

Within the social room of the 1800’s firehouse in the exhibit are many artifacts from Hudson’s firehouses, which were chosen by the students of the Museum Studies After School Program for the exhibit. These artifacts, from a spittoon to a black ball box, are typical of objects that would have been found in any given firehouse in New York State during the 1800’s.  We are sure that the visitor will find the exhibit fascinating, as many interesting pieces of information were uncovered during the students’ research. For instance, did you know that Edmonds Fire Company once had an apparatus with the likeness of J.W. Edmonds painted on it? Did you know that firemen from C.H. Evans Fire Company once used a stretched out coat like a blanket to catch a baby thrown from a burning building’s window? Did you know that a fireman from H.W. Rogers Fire Company had a dog that followed him to fires and once climbed a ladder to the top of a burning building to join his master? Did you know that Hoysradt Fire Company once held a benefit play entitled "The Fire Brigade” in which the firemen and their apparatus appeared on stage, in action? These and many other interesting stories are part of the exhibit.
 
The students from the Hudson Middle School who participated in the Museum Studies After School Program were Scott Elliot, Michael Dolan, Sabrina Johnson, Jessica Sherman, Alexis Pizza, Kendall Galant, Devon Sweat, Peter Rodriquez and Hailey Beaumont. The Museum Board and Staff would like to thank each one of these outstanding young people for their diligence, persistence and hard work, which culminated in the creation of this exciting exhibit. We would also like to recognize the wonderful work done by Mary Ann Iaccino, who coordinated the program for the Museum and Ms. Cox, the After School Program Assistant from the Hudson City School District, who together kept the students motivated and on track. This exhibit was made possible, due in part, to the generous support (financial or in-kind) of: Ed Herrington Incorporated, Neal VanDeusen, Carmine Ciancetta, Joseph Vining and Bill Williams from the Hudson Radio Stations.
 
The FASNY Museum of Firefighting is the home of the premiere collection of American firefighting objects in the world. Fifty thousand square feet of fire engines, equipment and gear depict the history of the American firefighter. Activities for children include creative play on selected fire engines, educational activities and the McCadam Fire Safety and Prevention Discovery Room. The Museum is open daily from 10am until 5pm (the Museum is closed on Memorial Day, 4th of July, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.) For more information visit the Museum online at: www.fasnyfiremuseum.com
 
 
June 6, 2011
Museum Receives Absolute Charter from Board of Regents
 
The FASNY Museum of Firefighting Board of Directors recently received a communication from the New York State Department of Education informing the Museum Board that their petition to the Board of Regents for an absolute charter for the Museum has been granted. A museum or historical society that wishes to organize as a nonprofit education corporation must do so by petitioning the Board of Regents for the issuance of a charter. A charter is granted by the Board of Regents as an instrument of incorporation to museums and historical societies that satisfy Regents standards of organizational and educational quality. These standards are consistent with professionally accepted principles and practices as adopted by the American Association of Museums and the American Association for State and Local History. To achieve them usually takes a period of development. For that reason chartering is a two-step process, from provisional to absolute. An absolute charter is granted to museums and historical societies that meet the organizational and educational standards established by the Regents and thereby achieve what is termed registration. The progress made by a museum or historical society during the term of its provisional charter is measured by applying the criteria set forth as standards in the Rules of the Regents. If an organization has a record of financial stability, programmatic accomplishment and a well-founded reputation for excellence, it is usually successful in meeting the requirements of registration. The FASNY Museum of Firefighting has consistently met this criteria and therefore, the Museum Board was awarded an absolute charter for the institution.
 
In New York State, education corporations are created by the Board of Regents of The University of the State of New York. As the senior educational authority in New York State, the Board of Regents oversees the State's educational system. Nonprofit organizations and institutions with educational purposes, such as schools and cultural agencies, seeking to incorporate, must do so under Education Law § 216, subject to the authority of the Regents. New York State is unique in the United States because it not only considers its cultural agencies to be an integral part of its educational system  it incorporates such agencies under Education Law instead of under Corporation Law. 

While every other state views cultural agencies as nonprofit businesses, New York treats them as educational organizations. This is a significant difference because the underlying assumption of Education Law, as implemented by the Rules of the Regents, is that the Board of Regents will evaluate the quality of an organization or institution that seeks to be incorporated. This is the same judgment applied by the Board of Regents when it considers the chartering of schools and institutions of higher learning. In fact, the charter is the instrument used to incorporate schools and colleges, as well as most cultural agencies. Because of the judgment implied in its granting, considerable prestige is associated with a Regents Charter.  The Board and Staff of the FASNY Museum of Firefighting were elated to receive the news that the absolute charter for the Museum was granted and look forward to expanding the Museum’s educational programming to further meet the needs of the surrounding community and beyond.
 
The FASNY Museum of Firefighting is the home of the premiere collection of American firefighting objects in the world. Fifty thousand square feet of fire engines, equipment and gear depict the history of the American firefighter. Activities for children include creative play on selected fire engines, educational activities and the McCadam Fire Safety and Prevention Discovery Room. The Museum is open daily from 10am until 5pm (the Museum is closed on Memorial Day, 4th of July, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.) For more information visit the Museum online at: www.fasnyfiremuseum.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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