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The Green Tree: Highlights from the Collection of the Mutual Assurance Company of Philadelphia - April 2007
 
 
painting
 
Currier & Ives
after Charles H. Parsons (1821–1910)
The Life of a Fireman: The New Era.
Steam and Muscle
, 1861
Lithograph, 17 1/8 × 25 7/8 inches
Inscribed (in plate): “New York, Published by Currier & Ives, 152 Nassau St./C. Parsons, Del./Lith Currier & Ives, N.Y./Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1861, by Currier & Ives, in the Clerk’s office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York.”
References: Garvan and Wojtowicz 1977, 145.
RS 6231


James Merritt Ives (1824–1895) joined the publisher Nathaniel Currier in 1852 and became a partner in 1857, thus founding the famous lithography firm Currier & Ives. Currier & Ives added a fifth print to the “Life of a Fireman” series in 1861 designed by Charles H. Parsons (1821–1910) that portrayed a contest between two new steam-powered engines and hand-pumpers at the corner of Murray and Church Streets. Clearly, the steam engines were able to shoot water up to the newer five- and six-story buildings, thus demonstrating their superiority over the soon-to-be-obsolete hand-pumper engines.

  


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