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The Green Tree: Highlights from the Collection of the Mutual Assurance Company of Philadelphia - April 2007
 
 
painting
 
Unknown Maker

Enterprise Fire Club Bucket, c. 1780–1800
Leather, 13 1/4 × 8 1/4 inches
References: Garvan and Wojtowicz 1977, pp. 114–115, illus.
RS 6315


Hand-sewn leather fire buckets were used to transport the water necessary to extinguish fires directly or to fill the reservoirs in the early hand-pumper engines. Buckets belonged to individual firemen and property owners. This fire bucket belonged to a cabinetmaker named Thomas Needham (1779–1858), an early member of the Enterprise Fire Club in Salem, Massachusetts. Needham’s name is printed on a red banner placed above a shield that contains an image of a burning building. The bucket’s beehive shape indicates that it predates the founding of the Enterprise Fire Club in 1810, and was probably repainted by Needham when he joined the group. Needham, a coroner and city council member in Salem, served for sixteen years as a trustee and secretary of the Salem Charitable Mechanic Association.

  


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