Like any world-class museum, the Museum’s goal is to be much more than diligent caretakers of the collection. Through interpretive exhibits, the Museum strives to illustrate and explain the historical importance and context of the artifacts entrusted to the Museum. Using a variety of settings and media, the Museum utilizes the collection of more than 20,000 artifacts to tell the story of firefighting and firefighters to the Museum’s guests. The Museum’s objective is to ensure that a trip to the FASNY Museum is a memorable and enriching experience for the thousands of visitors welcomed each year.
The Hero’s Tale… Artifacts from the NBCUniversal Drama Chicago Fire
The FASNY Museum of Firefighting Board and Staff are very excited to host this new, mini-pop-up exhibit. For those of you not familiar with Chicago Fire, it is a drama presented by renowned Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf (“Law and Order” brand) and co-creator Dereck Hass, the writer behind “3:10 to Yuma.” This high-octane drama gives you an edge-of-your-seat view into the lives of everyday heroes committed to one of America’s noblest professions: firefighting. This exhibit also explores the hero in society and popular culture. This is a temporary exhibit that is open only through December 31, 2020, so don’t miss it!
(Photographs used courtesy of NBCUniversal)
Legacy: Robert Fulton and the Commercial Advent of the Steam Engine
One of the greatest innovations in firefighting during the 1800s was the advent of the steam-powered pumper, which allowed a small number of firefighters to tackle a blaze. This interactive exhibit examines the life and work of steam power pioneer and New Yorker Robert Fulton and the impact of this great New Yorker on the technology of firefighting. The exhibit also highlights the Hudson River Valley Region’s essential role in firefighting’s history: the manufacture of steam pumpers in Hudson, New York, by the Clapp and Jones Company. This exhibit was made possible by major sponsor the Hudson River Valley Greenway.
Then, Now & Always: Firefighting from the Cradle of Rome Through the 1900s
Trace the evolution and development of firefighting from its ancient origins to the modern era of mechanization.
This informative and fascinating exhibit uses objects in the Museum’s collection as historical touchstones. Complemented by interpretive graphic panels and object cards, the exhibit chronicles the progression of organized firefighting and its social and technological implications. Here, you will discover some of the oldest and rarest objects in the Museum’s collection. Adjacent to the exhibit cases are the Museum’s earliest examples of fire apparatus dating as far back as 1731.
Featured in the Steamer Hall
Social Favor & Local Flavor: The Firehouse of the 1800s
Learn about the firehouses, fire apparatus and equipment of the 1800s, as you explore a reproduction interior of a firehouse from that period.
Behold the grandeur and craftsmanship of the firehouses of the past, as you walk around a reproduction firehouse interior and examine the locally donated artifacts on exhibit. Learn how being a fireman “opened doors” for many men socially during the 1800s. Discover how the firehouse of the 1800s became the social meeting place for the community during this era. Learn how firemen gave their fire apparatus nicknames and try to “Name That Fire Engine” in the interactive portion of the exhibit. Or pass the downtime as the firefighters did, by playing a game of checkers or cards, using the period reproduction objects you’ll find.
The exhibit is representative of the local firehouses of Hudson during the 1800s. Discover who the patrons of the local firehouses were and learn about the history of each firehouse. This section of the exhibit was done with the assistance of students from the Hudson City School District, who participated in the after-school Museum studies program.