Fire has held our fascination, provided warmth and hot food for us for centuries. It has also threatened our homes and our lives. During the 19th Century fire equipment and the technology for fighting fires was constantly changing as it is today. This assembly of leather fire gear dates to 1886 and was used by the Jacksonville, Oregon Fire Department. The cap on the left has a black six paneled crown with a bill and a moveable red leather visor and cutout white letters reading ‘Jacksonville’ over the number 1 in a shield against a black background and was manufactured by J. C. Johnson & Co., San Francisco, CA.
The leather fire bucket in the center is painted green with a leather covered rope handle affixed to the body by two ‘O’ rings. The side and bottom seams are secured with metal rivets. A wooden lip affixed to the mouth of the bucket is covered with leather. Hand painted, heavily soiled lettering on the side reads ‘J.H. & L. Co.’ and dates to 1868.
The fireman’s cap on the right is made of black leather with a six paneled crown and a moveable white visor with cutout letters in a banner reading ‘Foreman’ over the number 1 in a shield against a red background. This cap was also manufactured by J.C. Johnson & Co., San Francisco and dates to 1886.