Exploring the Galleries
The Hall of Flame
Within Gallery I is a 50-seat theater where visitors can view a 10 minute video introducing all of the exhibit galleries.
In addition, Gallery I contains over 30 manual and horse drawn pieces of apparatus, dating from 1725 to 1890. They are American, English, French, and Japanese.
There are a wide variety of engines, ladder wagons, parade carriages, hose wagons, chemical wagons, a fire sled or “pung”, an aerial ladder wagon, and steam powered engines.
Also on exhibit are lithographs, engravings, prints, and paintings. There is a fine display of over 100 insurance fire marks from all over the world.
The museum has over 130 wheeled pieces in the collection. There are over 10,000 smaller objects, all of which relate to the history of firefighting.
Hall of Flame has six exhibit galleries. Visitors receive an exhibits catalogue which describes the major exhibits. Each gallery is identified by a numbered plaque that corresponds to a description in the catalogue.
In this 10,000 square foot gallery are over 20 motorized pieces dating from 1897 to 1930. Most of the pieces are American.
Makers include American La France, Seagrave, Ahrens-Fox, Mack, Howe, Brockway, Merryweather, Christie, and Waterous.
Among the rarest pieces is an 1897 Champion water tower that was motorized with a Christie tractor, a Waterous gasoline powered pumper, a Brockway chemical car, and a pair of elegant American La France Type 400 senior fire engines dating from the mid 1930s.
Gallery II also houses the children’s play area, and a 1952 American La France Model 700 fire engine from Miami, Arizona which is available for boarding by visitors. The rig is fully functional, but we have removed the ladders and hose to make access easier for excited would be firefighters!
This 5,00 square foot gallery contains rotating exhibits of restored motorized pieces.
On permanent display are a 1951 Mack Model A fire engine, a 1955 American La France aerial truck, a 1955 Seagrave Quad Anniversary Model engine, and a 1967 ERF/HCB-Angus “pump/escape” fire engine from the Nottinghamshire Fire Brigade.
One Gamewell semi automatic system dates from 1925 and was used in Glendale, California. A second system was custom made by the Phoenix Fire Department in 1956 and was one of the earliest binary systems to make full use of telephone capabilities. The third system is a Protectowire operating system that demonstrates an effective alarm system using a specially constructed thermal cable.
Our new storage building allows us to move pieces from the exhibit to temporary storage and allows us to install temporary exhibits. Most of these new exhibits will be displayed in Gallery III.
This 5,000 square foot gallery contains three fine aerial trucks made by American La France, Seagrave and Pirsch, as well as a fully restored 1930 Ahrens-Fox Quad fire engine that is driven annually in the Fiesta Bowl Parade.
The Seagrave and Pirsch aerials are entirely original. Behind the Ahrens Fox is a fully restored 1935 Ford / Pirsch flathead V-8 fire engine from Slinger, Wisconsin.
Also on display in this gallery are over 4,000 arm patches from fire departments all over the world. A printout of the patch collection allows visitors to quickly locate patches from their city, state, or province.
Gallery IV also contains a large Fire Safety Learning Area consisting of a mini-theater, a two room Safety House, and a large practical application area.
Hall of Heroes
The National Firefighting Hall of Heroes is a 3,000 square foot gallery that addresses the human element of firefighting.
In this gallery visitors will find the names of thousands of American firefighters who have died in the line of duty. In addition, the names and citations for thousands of firefighters who have been recognized for acts of heroism are also found in this gallery.
The gallery also contains exhibits which describe the history of the volunteer and paid structural firefighters and wildland firefighters.
A special display honors the firefighters, police officers and Port Authority officers who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center.
For specific information on the museum’s major holdings, select a category below.
Fire Alarm Systems
Hand and Horse Drawn
Additional Fire Related Objects in Our Collection
Hall of Flame’s collection of graphic materials includes lithographs, prints, engravings, arm patches, paintings, and photographs.