Benjamin Franklin as a volunteer firefighter

Benjamin Franklin as a volunteer firefighter

One of many Benjamin Franklin achievements Although many do not know this fact, it was to become the co-founder of Philadelphia's first volunteer fire department. It was in December 1736 and he was 30 years old.

Benjamin was born in Boston, but went to live in Philadelphia, where he was editor of his own newspaper, called Philadelphia Gazette. By then, he had already founded the first library of the region and seeing the need to face the fires, he encouraged through his newspaper to create a volunteer fire brigade.

In 1730, a fire started on a ship that spread to Fishbourn Pier on the Delaware River. All the warehouses on the quayside were burned, as well as three houses on the next street, causing thousands of pounds in damage. Franklin He claimed that had there been a decent firefighting team, the fire could have easily been contained before it spread through the city.

After a few more articles in your newspaper, Franklin and four friends founded the Fire Company on December 7, 1736. There were 26 members in this first brigade, where each of them agreed to contribute 6 buckets of water and rescue materials. Each volunteer was appointed to a different function, such as water management or property protection, with the aim of ensuring an organized and fast system.

The Firefighter company it became popular very quickly and soon had new volunteers. When they reached 30 members, they did not accept more and proposed the creation of another new brigade so as not to get in the way. With one more brigade, the city could be totally safe from massive fires, like the one that broke out in Chicago in 1871.

Tom Lingenfelter, a member of the Society's Collectors Estate, believes he has found a unique document related to this fire brigade. In the absence of being authenticated, it appears to be a list of the members of that brigade in 1736.

The name of Benjamin Franklin. Next to each name there is a “x”, Possibly to RSVP. If its authenticity is proven, it would be the only existing listing for this company.

Franklin Papers

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