Philadelphia firehouse, 1850s

Philadelphia firehouse, 1850s

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Caption: Philadelphia firehouse. 19th-century illustration of firemen pulling a hand-drawn fire engine from a firehouse, with other firemen arriving and readying themselves for action. They are members of the Weccacoe Engine Company, operating in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. This artwork, dating from around 1857, is by US artist James Fuller Queen (c.1820-1886), who was himself a member of the Weccacoe Engine Company (founded 1800). In the 19th century, engine houses were the centre of social life for working-class men, with volunteers attaining increased social status.

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