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FIREBOATS
Photos by Britton W Crosby

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New York City, NY

F.D.N.Y. - Historic Page 1


Original Feature Posted April 26, 2004 - Re-launched January 28, 2012
FDNY Page 12 Added November 2013    Reorganized as Historic Page 1 Dec 2015   
Updated January 4, 2017

  QUICK TO PHOTOS ON THIS PAGE 

FDNY Historic Page 1 Overview FDNY Historic Page 2 1862-1885
FDNY Historic Page 3 1890-1898 FDNY Historic Page 4 1903-1907
FDNY Historic Page 5 1908-1908 FDNY Historic Page 6 1914-1938
FDNY Historic Page 7 1954-1958 FDNY Historic Page 8 1958-1992
   
FDNY P1 The Marine Division FDNY P2 The Old Boats
FDNY P3 Old Marine 1 "McKean" FDNY P4 New Marine 1 "343"
FDNY P5 Old Marine 2 "Harvey" FDNY P6 The Small Boats
FDNY P7 Old Marine 6 "Kane" FDNY P8 New Marine 6 "Bravest"
FDNY P9 Old Marine 9 "Fire Fighter" FDNY P10 New Marine 9 "Fire Fighter II
NYPD P11 Police Boats FDNY P12 New Marine  "Feehan"


 

THE HISTORIC F.D.N.Y. FIREBOATS
From the John Landers-Beth Klein Collection

RARE - HISTORIC - SOME NEVER BEFORE SEEN ONLINE
Many of the photos on this page are from the John Landers & Beth Klein collection.
These are some of the most rare, historic, and in some cases never before seen online
images of the Historic Fireboats of the Fire Department of New York.
I thank John for allowing CapeCodFD.com to share these with our viewers.

John Landers is a NYC Transit worker whose fascination with the FDNY Marine Division dates back
to his childhood invite on board the H. Sylvia A. H. G. Wilks by her Commanding Officer Lt. Summerbell.
John and his wife Beth Klein wish to share their collection with anyone interested.
If you require professional use of any of these photos please contact John at islandersb@aol.com

 

MUST LISTEN

You Tube audio of 1938 New York City Fire boats Radio Roll Call
by WNYF with each boats using their horns
Added Oct 12, 2014

 

 

"New York City"
Map of New York City and the rivers, bays, and harbors protected by the FDNY.
Over 560 miles of waterfront are protected by the FDNY.

 

 

PAST FDNY FIREBOATS
 (Info from Fireboat.org)
(Info from FDNY Marine 1)
(Info from FDNY Unofficial Page)
(Info from John Calderone's Fireboats of the FDNY)
 

The Historic Boats
 

>--------------------HISTORIC PAGE 1-------------------<

A brief overview and introduction to the
Historical Collection of FDNY Fire Boats.

>--------------------HISTORIC PAGE 2-------------------<

SENECA
(NYPD c. 1862-1881)
A side paddlewheel vessel obtained by the New York Police Department
was on very rare occasions reportedly used by the Brooklyn Fire Dept.
She was reportedly destroyed by fire in 1881.
 

JOHN FULLER
(On Call c. 1866-1875)
Perhaps the "first" firefighting boat in NYC.
A steam salvage tug equipped with Amoskeag fire pumps
Owned by John C. Baxter & Son
Rented as needed "On Call" basis.
Known as a "wrecking & fire steamer"
13 water streams
It served for 9 years 1866-1875
and then for years was rented to substitute for
fireboats Havemeyer and Mills when they were out of service.
Berthed at 307 West Street, Manhattan
 

PROTECTOR
(On Call c. 1894-?)
A 53 foot tug operated by the Newtown Creek Towing Co.
in Long Island City (now part of Queens) on the East River
was from time to time used for firefighting
 

WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER
(1875-1901)
106' x 22' x 10'. 6000 gpm.
Built by Wood Dialogue & Company, Philadelphia
Wood hull vessel - coal fired steam powered
Berthed at foot of Pike Street, East River
"Engine 43"


ZOPHAR MILLS
 (1882-1934)
120' x 25' x 12'. 6000 gpm.
First iron hull fireboat
Berthed at Pier 42, North River
Served 52 years.
"Engine 51"
"Engine 77"
Engine 51"


SETH LOW
(1885-1917)
99' x 24' x 9'. 3500 gpm.
Wooden vessel
Harbeck's Stores, then foot of Main Street
Brooklyn Fire Dept
"Engine 23"
F.D.N.Y. (Jan 1898)
"Engine 123"
"Engine 223"


 

>--------------------HISTORIC PAGE 3-------------------<


THE NEW YORKER
(1890-1931)
125' x 26' x 12'. 13,000 gpm.
Steel hull
Battery Park, North River, Manhattan
"Engine 57"
"Engine 77"

---------------------
Note
The newest, most innovative fireboats often
started out at "Engine 57"
with the previous boat being reassigned
to another boat site.
---------------------



DAVID A. BOODY
 (1892-1914)
105' x 23' x 7'. 6500 gpm.
Wooden vessel
Brooklyn Fire Dept
"Engine 32"
F.D.N.Y. (Jan 1898)
"Engine 132"
Engine 232"



ROBERT A. VAN WYCK
(1898-1948)
100' x 24' x 12.6'. 6500 gpm
Only briefly named Van Wyck
Served as William L Strong
"Engine 66"

 

WILLIAM L. STRONG
(1898-1948)
100' x 24' x 12.6'. 6500 gpm
- Briefly Also Named the -
Robert A Van Wyck

"Engine 66"
"Engine 51"

 

>--------------------HISTORIC PAGE 4-------------------<


ABRAM S. HEWITT
(1903-1958)
117' x 25' x 10'6". 7000 gpm.
At foot of 13th Street
"Engine 77"
"Engine 232"
"Engine 77"


GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN
(1904-1954)
117' x 24' x 9'6". 7000 gpm.
"Engine 78"
"Engine 66"
"Engine 51"


VELOX
(1907-1922)
68' x 11'6" x 7'.
Tender
 

>--------------------HISTORIC PAGE 5-------------------<

 

JAMES DUANE
(1908-1959)
132' x 28' x 10'. 9000 gpm.
"Engine 85"


THOMAS WILLETT
(1908-1959)
132' x 28' x 10'. 9000 gpm.
"Engine 86"
"Engine 78"
"Marine 9"


CORNELIUS W. LAWRENCE
(1908-1955)
104'6" x 23'6" x 9'. 7000 gpm.
"Engine 87"
"Engine 51"
Engine 66"

 

THE NEW YORK FLEET
(1908)
"Zophar Mills" 1882 - Engine 51
"David Boody"  1892 - Engine 132
"Seth Low"  1885 - Engine 123
"The New Yorker" 1890 - Engine 57
"William L. Strong" 1898 - Engine 66
"Abram S. Hewitt" 1903 - Engine 77
"George B. McClellan" 1904 - Engine 78
"James Duane" 1908 - Engine 85
"Thomas Willett" 1908 - Engine 86
"Cornelious W. Lawrence"  1908 - Engine 87
 

 

>--------------------HISTORIC PAGE 6-------------------<



WILLIAM J. GAYNOR
(1914-1961)
118' x 25' x 13.4'. 7000 gpm.
"Engine 223"
"Engine 51"
"Engine 77"


JOHN PURROY MITCHEL
(1921-1966)
132' x 27' x 10'. 9000 gpm.
Built at Standard Shipbuilding Co, Shooters Island, NY
Last steam fireboat, first oil burner
"Engine 57"
"Engine 232"
"Marine 6"
"Marine 3"


CAPT. CONNELL
(1922-1938)
56'6" x 12' x 6'6".
Tender


JOHN J. HARVEY
(1931-1999)
130' x 28' x 9'. 18,000 gpm.
First gasoline-electric powered boat
"Engine 57"
"Engine 66"
"Marine 2"


FIRE FIGHTER
(1938-2011 )
134' x 32' x 9'. 20,000 gpm.
First Diesel - electric fireboat
"Engine 57"
"Engine 223"
"Marine 8"
"Marine 5"
Marine 3"
 "Marine 9"


SMOKE
(1938-1955)
53' x 7' x 3.5'.
Tender
 

>--------------------HISTORIC PAGE 7-------------------<



JOHN D. MC KEAN
(1954-2011 )
129' x 30' x 9'. 19,000 gpm.
"Engine 57" 
"Marine 1"


H. SYLVIA A. H. G. WILKS
(1958-1972)
105'6" x 27' x 9'. 8000 gpm.
"Engine 51"
"Marine 9"
"Marine 7"

 

>--------------------HISTORIC PAGE 8-------------------<


HARRY M. ARCHER M. D.
(1958-1994)
105'6" x 27' x 9'. 8000 gpm.
"Engine 78"
"Marine 6"



SMOKE II
(1958-2008 )
52' x 14' x 4'. 2000 gpm.
"Tender"


SENATOR ROBERT F. WAGNER
(1959-1993)
105'6" x 27' x 9'. 8000 gpm.
"Marine 8"
"Marine 7"
"Marine 5"



GOVERNOR ALFRED E. SMITH
(1961-      )
105'6" x 27' x 9'. 8000 gpm.
"Marine 8"
"Marine 6"

 


BLAZE
(1961-1970)
20'x 8' - 600 gpm
"With Marine 8"



JOHN H. GLENN, JR.
(1962-1977)
70' x 21' x 5'. 5000 gpm.
"Marine 4"
"Marine 5"
(now Washington, DC Fire Boat 1)
 

FLAME
(1963-1974)
18' x 8'  680 gpm
"Special Unit"



JAMES F. HACKETT
 
(1970-1974)
29'3" x 8' x 2'.5" - 2500 gpm
"Special Unit"



JOHN P. DEVANEY
(1992-1994)
70' x 19' x 5'4" 7075 gpm.
"Marine 6"


ALFRED E. RONALDSON
(1992-1994)
70' x 19' x 5'4"  7075 gpm.
"Marine 9"


KEVIN C. KANE
(1992-2010 )
52' x 16' x 4'6". 6500 gpm.
"Marine 6"

 

---------------------------------

The Modern Marine Division
 

THE BIG BOATS

"THREE FORTY THREE"
"Marine 1"

(2010-  )

140' x 36' x 9' draft
50,000 gpm
Built by Eastern Shipbuilding,
Panama City, Florida
Marine 1 - Bloomfield Street, Manhattan
Replaced the "John D. McKean" built in 1954
 

"FIREFIGHTER II"
"Marine 9"
(2010-  )

140' x 36' x 9' draft
50,000 gpm
Built by Eastern Shipbuilding,
Panama City, Florida
Marine 9 - Front Street, Staten Island
Replaced the "Firefighter" built in 1938
 

"BRAVEST"
"Marine 6"

(2011-  )

65' x 17' x 39"
7,000 gpm
Safe Boat
Marine 6 - Brooklyn Navy Yard
Replaced "Kevin Kane" built in 1992
 

"WILLIAM M FEEHAN"
"Marine 6"

(2015-  )

66' 5" x 18' x 3' 
6,800 gpm
MetalCraft FireStorm 70
Marine 6 - Brooklyn Navy Yard
Second boat for Marine 6
 

 

 

SMALL BOATS

MARINE 1 - ALPHA
(2012-      )

33' Safe Boat
1,000 gpm
With Marine 1 at Bloomfield St
Replaced 2006 27' Safe Boat

MARINE 1 - BRAVO
(2012-      )

31' Safe Boat
EMS Response
With Marine 1 at Bloomfield St


MARINE 6 - ALPHA
(2012-        )
33' Safe Boat
1,000 gpm
With Marine 6 - Brooklyn Navy Yard

MARINE 6 - BRAVO
(2012-      )

31' Safe Boat
EMS Response
With Marine 6 - Brooklyn Navy Yard

 

MARINE 9 - ALPHA
(2012-        )
33' Safe Boat
1,000 gpm
With Marine 9 - Front Street, Staten Island

MARINE 9 - BRAVO
(2012-      )

31' Safe Boat
EMS Response
With Marine 9 - Front Street, Staten Island
 


Additional small boats similar to the Alpha Boats
are also assigned to the the Marine Division,
Dive Team, and 3 Special Event boats
each located with respective Marine Co.s.

 

SEASONAL UNITS (May to Oct)

MARINE 3
(2012-        )
33' Safe Boat
1,000 gpm
 Marine 3 - Kingsborough Community College,
Brooklyn

MARINE 4
(2012-        )

 33' Safe Boat
1,000 gpm
Marine 4 - Fort Totten,
Queens

MARINE 8
(2012-       )

33' Safe Boat
1,000 gpm
Marine 8 - Great Kills Harbor,
Staten Island
 

----------------------------------------
FDNY MARINE DIVISION HISTORY
Fire Boats and Company Locations over time
(Note: Consolidation of New York City and combined
Fire Department occurred in 1898)

When first organized FDNY Fireboats were designated
as Engine Companies.
As boats were relocated they maintained their Engine Co. assignment.
The 19th Battalion was established in 1905 including all the fireboats.
The fleet reached 10 boats from 1908 into the 1950's.
Changes have occurred over time as economics and changes in the
waterfront resulted in a reduction in the number of boats.
The "Marine Division" and designations of
"Marine Company" was created 1959.
 

Engine 43
Organized 1875
East River - 1875
Pier 40, Pike Street, Manhattan, East River - 1877
Pier 1, Manhattan, North River - 1879
Foot of Clinton St, Manhattan, East River - 1883
Pier 55, Grand St, Manhattan, East River - 1893
Foot of East 96th St, Manhattan, Harlem River - 1898
Marine E43 Disbanded 1903

"William F. Havemeyer" 1875-1901
 

Engine 51
Organized 1883
Pier 42, Manhattan, East River - 1883
Foot West 13th St, Manhattan, North River- 1884
Foot of Bloomfield St, Manhattan, North River - 1892
Foot West 13th St, Manhattan, North River- 1900
Foot of East 99th St., Manhattan, Harlem River - 1903
St George, Staten Island - 1908
Disbanded 1916 - 1922
Foot of Hyatt St, Staten Island - 1922
Disbanded 1934 - 1938
Foot of Hyatt St, Staten island - 1938
Pier 6, Foot of Hannah St, Staten Island - 1947
Disbanded 1948 - 1949
Pier 6, Hannah St, Staten Island - 1949 - 1959
Reorganized as Marine 9 - 1959

 "Zophar Mills" 1883-1934
"William L Strong" 1938-1948
Replaced by "George B McCllellan" 1949-1953
"Cornelius W. Lawrence" 1953-1954
Replaced by "Fire Fighter" 1954-1959
 

 

Engine 23 - (Brooklyn FD)
 Organized 1886
Foot of Furman St, Brooklyn, East River - 1886
Relocated foot of Main St, Brooklyn, East River - 1899
Became Engine 123 - 1899
Relocated foot of 42nd St, New York Bay - 1904
Relocated Foot of Main St, Brooklyn, East River - 1904
Became Engine 223 - 1913
Relocated Foot of 38th St, New York Bay - 1915
Relocated Foot of 37th St, New York Bay - 1932
Reorganized as Marine 8 - 1959

"Seth Low" - 1886-1916
Replaced by "William J Gaynor" 1916-
 
 

Engine 32 - (Brooklyn FD)
Organized 1893
Foot of North 8th St, Brooklyn, East River - 1893
Became Engine 132 - 1899
Became Engine 232 - 1913
Disbanded - 1914
Reorganized Foot of North 8th St, Brooklyn, East River - 1915
Relocated Foot of Noble St, Brooklyn, East River - 1922
Reorganized as Marine 6 - 1959

"David A. Boody" - 1893-1914
 

Engine 57
Organized 1891
Castle Garden, Manhattan - 1891
Battery Park, Manhattan - 1895
Pier 1, Manhattan, North River - 1941
Disbanded 1959
Reorganized as Marine 1 - 1959

 "New Yorker" - 1891-1922
Replaced by "John Purroy Mitchel"  1922-1931
Replaced by "John J. Harvey" - 1931-1938
Replaced by the "Fire Fighter"  1938-1955
Replaced by "John D. McKean"  1955-1959

 

Engine 66
Organized 1898
Foot of Grand Street, Manhattan, East River - 1898
Foot of Grand St, Corlears Hook, Manhattan, East River - 1932
Disbanded 1955

"Robert A Van Wyck" 1898-
Renamed "William L. Strong"  1898-1938
Replaced by  "George B McClellan"  1938-1953
 

Engine 77
Organized 1903
Foot of Gansevoort St, Manhattan, North River - 1903
Relocated to Foot of Main St, Brooklyn, East River - 1904
Relocated to Foot of Beekman St, Manhattan, East River - 1911
Relocated Seaside Landing, Far Rockaway, Queens - 1922
Relocated foot of Hyatt St, Staten Island - 1922
Relocated Foot of Beekman St, Manhattan, East River - 1922
Relocated Foot of Fulton St, Manhattan, East River - 1931
Reorganized to Marine 7 - 1959

""Abram S. Hewitt" 1903-
Replaced by "The New Yorker" 1922-1931
 

Engine 78
Organized 1904
Foot of Gansevoort St, Manhattan, North River - 1904
Relocated Foot of East 99th St, Manhattan, Harlem River - 1908
Relocated Foot of 90th St, Manhattan, Harlem River - 1930
Reorganized as Marine 5 - 1959

"George B McClellan"  1904-1938
Replaced by "Thomas Willett" 1938-1959
 

 

Engine 85
Organized 1908
Pier 75, West 35th St, Manhattan, North River - 1908
Reorganized as Marine 3 - 1959

"James Duane" 1908-1959

 

Engine 86
Organized 1908
Foot of Gansevoort St, Manhattan, North River - 1908
Relocated Pier 53, Ft of Bloomfield St, Manhattan, North Rover - 1910
Reorganized as Marine 2 - 1959

 "Thomas Willett"  1908-1938
Replaced by "John J Harvey" 1938-

 

Engine 87
Organized 1908
Foot of East 132nd St, Manhattan, Harlem River - 1908
Relocated Ft of East 135th St, Manhattan, Harlem River - 1922
Relocated foot of Grand St, Manhattan, East River - 1952
Disbanded 1954

 "Cornelius W. Lawrence" 1908-1953

 

Engine 223
 Organized 1886 as Brooklyn Engine 23
Foot of Furman St, Brooklyn, East River - 1886
Relocated foot of Main St, Brooklyn, East River - 1899
Became Engine 123 - 1899
Relocated foot of 42nd St, New York Bay - 1904
Relocated Foot of Main St, Brooklyn, East River - 1904
Became Engine 223 - 1913
Relocated Foot of 38th St, New York Bay - 1915
Relocated Foot of 37th St, New York Bay - 1932
Reorganized as Marine 8 - 1959

"Seth Low" - 1886-1916
Replaced by "William J Gaynor" 1916-
 

Engine 232
Organized 1893 as Brooklyn Engine 32
Foot of North 8th St, Brooklyn, East River - 1893
Became Engine 132 - 1899
Became Engine 232 - 1913
Disbanded - 1914
Reorganized Foot of North 8th St, Brooklyn, East River - 1915
Relocated Foot of Noble St, Brooklyn, East River - 1922
Reorganized as Marine 6 - 1959

"David A. Boody" - 1893-
"John Purroy Mitchel" - 1931-
 


 

----------------

The "Marine Division" as it is known today was reorganized in 1959.
No longer would fireboats be referred to as Engine Companies.
 

Marine Co. 1
Organized 1959
Formerly Engine 57
Pier 1, Manhattan, North River 1959-
Pier A, Manhattan, Battery Park, Manhattan, North River  1960-1992
Relocated to Foot of Bloomfield St, Manhattan, North River 1992

"John D. McKean" 1959-2010
"Three Forty Three"  2010-
 

Marine Co. 2
Organized 1959
Formerly Engine 86
Foot of Bloomfield St, Manhattan, North River 1959-1991
Disbanded 1991

"John J Harvey" 1959-1995
 

Marine Co. 3
Organized 1959
Formerly Engine 85
Foot of West 35th St, Manhattan, North River 1959-
Foot of Bloomfield St, Manhattan, North River 1961-
Disbanded 1966
Reorganized 1996
158-57 Cross Bay Blvd, Queens (Seasonal May-Oct) 1996-2004
Relocated Gateway Marina, Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn  (Seasonal) 2004-
 

Marine Co. 4
Organized 1962
Foot of 154th Pl, East River 1962-
Relocated Army Pier, Fort Totten, Queens 1963-
Disbanded 1971
Reorganized 1996
Fort Schuyler @ NYSMMA, Throgs Neck (Seasonal)  1996-1998
Relocated to Fort Totten, Queens 1998-

"John H Glenn Jr" 1962-1971
 

Marine Co. 5
Organized 1959
Formerly Engine 78
Foot of East 90th St, Manhattan, East River 1959-1976
Disbanded 1976
 

Marine Co. 6
Organized 1959
Formerly Engine 66
Foot of Grand St, Manhattan, East River 1959-1992
Relocated to Bldg 292, Brooklyn Navy Yard, East River  1992-
(Marine Division HQ)

"Governor Alfred E. Smith" 1961-1992
"Kevin C Kane" 1992-2011
"Bravest" 2011-
 

Marine Co. 7
Organized 1959
Formerly Engine 77
Foot of Fulton St, Brooklyn, East River  1959-1970
Disbanded 1970

"H. Sylvia A.H.G. Wilks" 1959-1970

 

Marine Co. 8
Organized 1959
Formerly Engine 223
Foot of 38th St, Brooklyn, New York Bay 1959-1962
Foot of 52nd St, Brooklyn  1962-1970
Disbanded 1970
Reorganized Great Kills Harbor, Staten Island (Seasonal) 2005-

 

Marine Co. 9
Organized 1959
Formerly Engine 51
Pier 6, Staten Island  1959-
Relocated Slip 8, St George Ferry Terminal, SI  1967-
Relocated foot of 52nd St, Brooklyn, New York Bay 1976-
Relocated Slip 8, St George Ferry Terminal, SI  1977-
Relocated 355 Front St, Staten Island  1997-

"Fire Fighter" 1959-2010
"Fire Fighter II" 2010-






 

  

 

 

HISTORIC FDNY FIREBOATS
Page 1
"Overview"
The following special photos were submitted as listed below.
(Added August 2013 - Updated December 2015)

______________________________

GO TO PREVIOUS PAGE 
Page 8 - Historic Collection 1958-1992
______________________________

ON THIS PAGE
1862 - Police Boat "Seneca"
1866 - On Call Boat "John Fuller
1894 - On Call Boat "Protector"
1875 - Fire Boat "William F. Havemeyer"
1882 - Fire Boat "Zophar Mills"
1885 - Fire Boat "Seth Low"
1890 - Fire Boat "The New Yorker"
1892 - Fire Boat "David A. Boody"
1898 - Fire Boat "Robert A. Van Wyck"
1898 - Fire Boat "William L. Strong"
1903 - Fire Boat Adam S. Hewitt"
1904 - Fire Boat "George B. McClellan"
1907 - Fire Boat Tender "Velox"
1908 - Fire Boat "James Duane"
1908 - Fire Boat "Thomas Willett"
1908 - Fire Boat "Cornelious W. Lawrence"
1908 - "The Fire Boat Fleet"
1914 - Fire Boat "William J. Gaynor"
1921 - Fire Boat "John Purroy Mitchel"
1922 - Fire Boat Tender "Capt. Connell"
1931 - Fire Boat "John J. Harvey"
1938 - Fire Boat "Fire Fighter"
1938 - Fire Boat Tender "Smoke"
1954 - Fire Boat "John D. McKean"
1958 - Fire Boat "H. Sylvia A. H. G. Wilks"
1958 - Fire Boat "Harry M. Archer M.D."
1958 - Fire Boat Tender "Smoke II"
1959 - Fire Boat Robert F. Wagner"
1961 - Fire Boat Governor Alfred E. Smith"
1961 - Fire Boat "Blaze"
1962 - Fire Boat "John H. Glenn Jr."
1963 - Fire Boat "James F. Hackett"
1992 - Fire Boat "John P. Devaney"
1992 - Fire Boat "Alfred E. Ronaldson"
1992 - Fire Boat "Kevin C. Kane"

____________________________

GO TO NEXT PAGE 
Page 2 - Historic Collection 1862-1885
______________________________

 

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Police Boat "Seneca" 1862

 


Steam side Paddle wheeler "Seneca" in 1864 
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection
 

 "Seneca"
(NYPD c. 1862-1881 )
 This side paddle wheel vessel was obtained by the New York Police Department.
It was at one time used by NYPD to lure and arrest "Pirates" on the Hudson.
On occasion she was used by the Brooklyn Fire Dept for fire fighting.
The Seneca was reported to have been destroyed by fire in 1881.

 

 MORE
"Seneca"

 

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Steam Tug "John Fuller" 1866

 


Close-up of Steam Tug "John Fuller" operating at a fire   
 John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

 "John Fuller"
(On Call c. 1866-1875)

Perhaps the "first" firefighting boat in NYC.
A steam salvage tug equipped with Amoskeag fire pumps
Owned by John C. Baxter & Son
Rented as needed "On Call" basis.
Known as a "wrecking & fire steamer"
13 water streams
It served for 9 years 1866-1875
and then for years was rented to substitute for
fireboats Havemeyer and Mills when they were out of service.
Berthed at 307 West Street, Manhattan

BELIEVED TO BE THE ONLY PHOTOS IN EXISTENCE OF THE FULLER
She is the tug on the right, right of center, next to sister tug the "Adelaide"
Shown fighting a fire in what appears to be a steam paddlewheel vessel and pier fire.


 MORE
"John Fuller"

 

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Steam Tug  "Protector" 1894

 


  Steam Tug "Protector" used in Brooklyn   
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection
 

 "Protector"
(On Call c. 1894- ? )
A 53 foot steam tug own and operated by Newtown Creek Towing Co,
in Long Island City (now part of Queens) on the East River
was utilized from time to time for firefighting.

 

 MORE
"Protector"

 

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Fireboat "William F. Havemeyer" 1875

 


Close-up of Fireboat "William F. Havemeyer" 
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection
 

"William F. Havemeyer"
(1875-1901)
106' x 22' x 10'. 6000 gpm.
The "first" fireboat of the City of New York
Wood hull - coal fired steam powered
Had quarters on boat for the crew
Pike Street, Manhattan, East River
"Engine 43"
 

MORE
"William F. Havemeyer"

 

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Fireboat "Zophar Mills" 1882

 


Photo (closeup) of the "Zophar Mills" 
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"Zophar Mills"
(1882-1934)
120' x 25' x 12'. 6000 gpm.
First berth at Pier 42, North River
First with iron hull
"Engine 51"
"Engine 77"
"Engine 51"

 

MORE
"Zophar Mills"

 

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Fireboat "Seth Low" 1885

 


Fireboat "Seth Low" on the East River 
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"Seth Low"
(1885-1917)
99' x 24' x 9'. 3500 gpm.
Harbeck's Stores, foot of Main Street, Brooklyn
Built by W. Cowles of Brooklyn.
Wooden vessel - copper bottom
Twin Clapp & Jones 3500 gpm pumps
Brooklyn Fire Dept
"Engine 23"
FDNY
"Engine 123"
"Engine 223"

 

MORE
"Seth Low"

 

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Fireboat "The New Yorker" 1890

 


"The New Yorker" with Pier A in background   
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

 "The New Yorker"
(1890-1931)
125' x 26' x 12'. 13,000 gpm.
Built by Julius Johnson of New York City
 Steel hull - Coal fired Steam power
Castle Garden, Battery, Manhattan
"Engine 57"
"Engine 77"

Note: The New Yorker was the first New York fireboat with quarters
on shore. Previous boats had accommodations on board for the crew.

 

 MORE
"The New Yorker"

 

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Fireboat "David A. Boody" 1892

 


Brooklyn Fireboat "David A. Boody"   
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"David A. Boody"
(1892-1914)
105' x 23' x 7'. 6500 gpm.
Built by W. Cowles at Noank, Connecticut
Wooden hull - coal and steam powered
Brooklyn Fire Dept
Engine 32
FDNY
"Engine 132"
"Engine 232"

 

MORE
"David A. Boody
"

 

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Fireboat "Robert A. Van Wyck" 1898

 


      Fireboat "Robert A. Van Wyck"       
 John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"Robert A. Van Wyck" *
(1898-1948)
110' x 24' x 12.6'. 6500 gpm
Designed by H deB Parsons
Built by J. H. Dialogue & Son
Steel hull, 203 gross tons, 10 knots
Coal Fired
Berth Foot of Grand Street, Manhattan
"Engine 66"

*This boat was originally christened as the "William L Strong" but the name was changed to the
"Robert A. Van Wyck" prior to going into service (Van Wyck was the Mayor at the time).
It was renamed the "William L Strong" once again after the mayor's term ended..

 

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"Robert A. Van Wyck"

 

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Fireboat "William L. Strong" 1898

 


Fireboat "William L Strong"  
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"William L. Strong"
(1898-1948)
100' x 24' x 12.6'. 6500 gpm.
Designed by H deB Parsons
Built by J. H. Dialogue & Son
Steel hull, 203 gross tons, 10 knots
Coal Fired
Berth Foot of Grand Street, Manhattan
"Engine 66"
"Engine 51"
 

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"William L. Strong"


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Fireboat "Abram S. Hewitt" 1903

 


"Abram S Hewitt"  operating at a 1911 fire.
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"Abram S. Hewitt"
(1903-1958)
117' x 24' x 10'6". 7000 gpm.
Designed by H deB Parsons
Built by the New York Ship Building Company at Camden, NJ
Steel hull, Coal fired
Had 3 deck pipes and 12 discharges.
Berth foot of  West 13th St, Manhattan
"Engine 77"
"Engine 232"
"Engine 77"

 

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"Abram S. Hewitt"

 

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Fireboat "George B. McClellan" 1904

 


Close-up of "George B. McClellan" with original two stacks   
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

 "George B. McClellan"
(1904-1954)
117' x 24' x 9'6". 7000 gpm.
Built by New York Shipping Co., Camden, NJ
Steel hull, Coal fired
Had 3 deck pipes and 16 discharges.
Berthed at Gansevoort St, Manhattan
McClellan essentially sister ship to the Hewitt
"Engine 78"
"Engine 66"
"Engine 51"


 
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 "George B. McClellan"

 

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Launch "Velox" 1907

 


FDNY Launch "Velox"  
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"Velox"
(1907-1922)
68' x 11'6" x 7'.
Launch

 

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"Velox"

 

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Fireboat "James Duane" 1908

 



"James Duane" 
Lawrence & Richard Gorman Family Collection

 "James Duane"
(1908-1959)
132' x 28' x 10'. 9000 gpm.
Built by Alexander Miller & Bros, Jersey City, NJ
Coal fired team turbine driven centrifugal pumps
4 deck pipes and a tower mast
Capable of 14 knots.
Foot of 35th St, Manhattan, North River
"Engine 85"

 

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"James Duane"

 

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Fireboat "Thomas Willett" 1908

 


Fireboat  "Thomas Willett" underway
   John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"Thomas Willett"
 (1908-1959)
132' x 28' x 10'. 9000 gpm.
Built by Alexander Miller & Bros, Jersey City, NJ
Coal fire steam turbine driven centrifugal pumps
4 deck pipes and a tower mast
Capable of 14 knots.
Converted from coal to oil in 1926
Berth at former Engine 78, Foot of Gansevoort St, Manhattan, North River
"Engine 86"
"Engine 78"
"Marine 5"

 

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"Thomas Willett"

 

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Fireboat "Cornelius W. Lawrence" 1908

 


"Cornelius W. Lawrence"  
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

 "Cornelius W. Lawrence"
(1908-1955)
104'6" x 23'6" x 9'. 7000 gpm.
Built by Alexander Miller & Bros, Jersey City, NJ
Coal fired, steam turbine driven pumps
Lower profile super structure and no tower mast
Berth at foot East 132nd St, Manhattan, Harlem River
"Engine 87"
"Engine 51"
"Engine 66"

NOTE: The "Cornelius W. Lawrence" is one of three fireboats delivered
in 1908 by Alexander Miller & Brothers. The Lawrence was built slightly shorter,
with a lower profile, and no tower mast to enable swifter travel under the
numerous bridges spanning the Harlem River.

 

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"Cornelius W. Lawrence"

 

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The FDNY Fireboats Fleet 1908

 


FDNY fleet at the Battery in Manhattan 1908  
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection


"The 1908 Fleet"
 (1908)
Close-up of the 10 Fireboats of the FDNY fleet at Engine 57 quarters (with tower)
at the Battery in Manhattan 1908
Left to Right:
1890 FB The New Yorker "Engine 57",  1908 FB Thomas Willett,  1908 FB James Duane, 
1904 FB George B McClellan, 1903 FB Abram S Hewitt, 1882 FB Zophar Mills, 
1898 FB William L Strong, 1908 FB Cornelius W. Lawrence, 1892 FB David Boody,
and the 1885 Fireboat Seth Low (in reserve in 1908 and sold in 1917.)
 

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"The 1908 Fleet"

 

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Fireboat "William J. Gaynor" 1914

 


FDNY Fireboat "William J. Gaynor" at foot of 37th St., Brooklyn -  
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"William J. Gaynor"
(1914-1961)
118' x 25' x 13.4'. 7000 gpm.
Built by John W. Sullivan & Company, Elizabethport, NJ
The last coal fired NY fireboat built
Capable of 14 knots
Converted from coal to oil in 1937
Replaced the Seth Low
Foot of 38th & 37th St, Brooklyn, New York Bay
"Engine 223"
"Engine 51"
"Engine 77"

 

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"William J. Gaynor"

 

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Fireboat "John Purroy Mitchel" 1921

 


FDNY Fireboat "John Purroy Mitchel" working in the snow.
  John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

 "John Purroy Mitchel"
(1921-1966)
132' x 27' x 10'  9,000 gpm
Built by Standard Shipbuilding Co, Shooters Island, NY
The first NY fireboat built with oil fired power
and the last to have steam turbine driven pumps
Replaced "The New Yorker"
"Engine 57"
"Engine 232"
"Marine 6"
"Marine 3"
 

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"John Purroy Mitchel"

 


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Launch "Capt. Connell" 1922


 


FDNY Launch "Capt. Connell"  
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"Capt. Connell"
(1922-1938)
56'6" x 12' x 6'6".
The fire department Launch "Capt. Connell was built in 1905
It originally served the War Department.
While older than the Velox, the Connell was in better shape
and replaced the 1907 Velox in 1922.

 

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"Capt. Connell"

 

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Fireboat "John J. Harvey" 1931


 


FDNY Fireboat "John J. Harvey" 10th Anniversary 1941.
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"John J. Harvey"
(1931-1999)
130' x 28' x 9'. 18,000 gpm.
Built by Todd Shipyards
The first gasoline-electric powered fireboat
with 5 gasoline motors, 4 fire pumps, twin screws
Eight deck pipes
"Engine 57"
"Engine 86"
"Marine 2"

 

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"John J. Harvey"

 

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Fireboat "Fire Fighter" 1938

 

 


FDNY Fireboat "Fire Fighter" in action with water tower.  
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"Fire Fighter"
(1938-2011 )
134' x 32' x 9'. 20,000 gpm.
Designed by Gibbs & Cox
Built by United Shipyards of Staten Island
The first Diesel-electric fireboat delivered
Eight deck monitors and a 55 foot water tower
Replaced the John J Harvey at Engine 57
"Engine 57"
"Engine 223"
"Marine 8"
"Marine 5"
"Marine 3"
"Marine 9"
 

 

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"Fire Fighter"

 

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Tender "Smoke" 1938

 


Tender "Smoke"  
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"Smoke"
(1938-1955)
53' x 7' x 3.5'.
Used vessel used as a tender and launch
Replaced the Capt Connell

 

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"Smoke"

 

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Fireboat "John D. McKean" 1954

 


FDNY Fireboat "John D. McKean" welcomed to New York
by the 'Thomas Willett" and the "Fire Fighter"
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"John D. McKean"
(1954-2011 )
129' x 30' x 9'. 19,000 gpm.
Built by John Mathis Shipyard in Camden, NJ
Equipped with 6 monitors and a water tower mast.
Replaced the McClellan.
"Engine 57" 
"Marine 1"

 

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"John D. McKean"

 

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Fireboat "H. Sylvia A. H. G. Wilks" 1958


 


The Fireboat "H. Sylvia A. H. G. Wilks" approaching Manhattan closeup.  
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"H. Sylvia A. H. G. Wilks"
 (1958-1972)
105'6" x 27' x 9'. 8000 gpm.
Built by John Mathis Shipyards, Camden, NJ
The first of four sister ships
5 deck monitors and a 500 gallon foam tank
"Engine 51"
"Marine 9"
"Marine 7"

 

 

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"H. Sylvia A. H. G. Wilks"

 

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Fireboat "Harry M. Archer M.D." 1958

 


Fireboat "Harry M. Archer M.D."  on the way to NYC for first time
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"Harry M. Archer M.D."
 (1958-1994)
105'6" x 27' x 9'. 8000 gpm.
Built by John Mathis Shipyards, Camden, NJ
The second of four sister ships
5 deck monitors and a 500 gallon foam tank
"Engine 78"
"Marine 6"
 

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"Harry M. Archer M.D."

 

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Fireboat Tender "Smoke II" 1958

 


Fireboat Tender "Smoke II" at Pier A
    John Landers - Beth Klein Collection
 

"Smoke II"
(1958-2008)
52' x 14' x 4'.  250 gpm
Built by Equitable Equipment Company, New Orleans, LA
Replaced the "Smoke"
Fireboat Tender

 

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"Smoke II"

 

 

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Fireboat "Senator Robert F. Wagner" 1959

 


Fireboat "Senator Robert F. Wagner"  
shown during its brief reassignment to Marine 7 during the 1970s.
 John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"Senator Robert F. Wagner"
(1959-1993)
105'6" x 27' x 9'. 8000 gpm.
Built by John Mathis Shipyards, Camden, NJ
The third of four sister ships
5 deck monitors and a 500 gallon foam tank
The Willett retired upon Wagner's delivery.
"Marine 8"
"Engine 7"
"Engine 5"

 

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"Senator Robert F. Wagner"

 

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Fireboat "Governor Alfred E. Smith" 1961

 


Fireboat "Governor Alfred E. Smith"  
Launching at Mathis Shipyard
Photo courtesy of Al Trojanowicz

"Governor Alfred E. Smith"
(1961-      )
105'6" x 27' x 9'. 8000 gpm.
Built by John Mathis Shipyards, Camden, NJ
The last of four sister ships delivered
5 deck monitors and a 500 gallon foam tank
The Duane and Gaynor were retired upon Smith's delivery.
 "Marine 8"
"Marine 6"

 

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"Governor Alfred E. Smith"

 

 

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Small Fireboat "Blaze" 1961

 


Small Fireboat "Blaze"  
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"Blaze"
 (1961-1970)
20' x 8' x 2.5 draft - 600 gpm
Built by John Mathis, Camden NJ
Stationed at Cross Bay Blvd
Saw limited duty

 

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"Blaze"

 

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Fireboat "John H. Glenn Jr" 1962

 


FDNY Marine 4 "John H. Glenn Jr" 
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"John H. Glenn Jr."
(1962-1977)
70' x 21' x 5'. 5000 gpm.
Built by Diesel Shipbuilding Company, Jacksonville, FL
3 monitors, 300 gallons of foam
"Marine 4"
"Marine 5"
(later served as Washington, DC Fire Boat 1)
 

MORE
"John H. Glenn Jr."

 

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Small Fireboat "Flame" 1963

 


Small Fireboat "Flame"  
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"Flame"
 (1963-1970)
18' x 8" draft - 600 gpm
Fiberglass boat built by Buehler Turbo Craft
 

MORE
"Flame"

 

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Small Fireboat "James F. Hackett" 1970

 


Small Fireboat "James F. Hackett"  
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"James F. Hackett"
 (1970-1974)
29'3" - 8' - 2.5' draft - 2500 gpm
Fiberglass hull, a satellite unit with Marine 9
Saw limited duty

 

MORE
"James F. Hackett"

 

 

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Fireboat "John P. Devaney" 1992

 


Fireboat "John P Devaney"  
John Calderone photo

"John P. Devaney"
(1992-1994)
70' x 19' x 5'4" 7075 gpm.
Built by Textron Marine, New Orleans
Plastic Surface effect Ship design
Shallow draft, capable of 30 knots
"Marine 6"
 

Only in service about 6 months in 1994
before being disposed of.

 

NOTE: John P. Devaney named for a firefighter killed in the line of duty.

 

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"John P. Devaney"

 

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Fireboat "Alfred E. Ronaldson" 1992
 

 


Fireboat "Alfred E. Ronaldson"  
John Calderone photo

"Alfred E. Ronaldson"
(1992-1994)
70' x 19' x 5'4" 7075 gpm.
Built by Textron Marine, New Orleans
Plastic Surface effect Ship design
Shallow draft, capable of 30 knots
"Marine 9"

Only in service about 6 months in 1994
before being disposed of.

 

NOTE: Alfred E. Ronaldson named for a firefighter killed in the line of duty.

 

MORE
"Alfred E. Ronaldson"

 

 

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Fireboat "Kevin C. Kane" 1992

 


FDNY Fireboat Marine 6  "Kevin Kane" responding.
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection
 

"Kevin C. Kane"
(1992-2010 )
52' x 16' x 4'6". 6500 gpm.
Built by Gladding-Heard Shipbuilding
"Marine 6"

 

MORE
"Kevin C. Kane"

 

 

 

______________________________

GO TO PREVIOUS PAGE 
Page 8 - Historic Collection 1958-1992
______________________________

ON THIS PAGE
1862 - Police Boat "Seneca"
1866 - On Call Boat "John Fuller
1894 - On Call Boat "Protector"
1875 - Fire Boat "William F. Havemeyer"
1882 - Fire Boat "Zophar Mills"
1885 - Fire Boat "Seth Low"
1890 - Fire Boat "The New Yorker"
1892 - Fire Boat "David A. Boody"
1898 - Fire Boat "Robert A. Van Wyck"
1898 - Fire Boat "William L. Strong"
1903 - Fire Boat Adam S. Hewitt"
1904 - Fire Boat "George B. McClellan"
1907 - Fire Boat Tender "Velox"
1908 - Fire Boat "James Duane"
1908 - Fire Boat "Thomas Willett"
1908 - Fire Boat "Cornelious W. Lawrence"
1908 - "The Fire Boat Fleet"
1914 - Fire Boat "William J. Gaynor"
1921 - Fire Boat "John Purroy Mitchel"
1922 - Fire Boat Tender "Capt. Connell"
1931 - Fire Boat "John J. Harvey"
1938 - Fire Boat "Fire Fighter"
1938 - Fire Boat Tender "Smoke"
1954 - Fire Boat "John D. McKean"
1958 - Fire Boat "H. Sylvia A. H. G. Wilks"
1958 - Fire Boat "Harry M. Archer M.D."
1958 - Fire Boat Tender "Smoke II"
1959 - Fire Boat Robert F. Wagner"
1961 - Fire Boat Governor Alfred E. Smith"
1961 - Fire Boat "Blaze"
1962 - Fire Boat "John H. Glenn Jr."
1963 - Fire Boat "James F. Hackett"
1992 - Fire Boat "John P. Devaney"
1992 - Fire Boat "Alfred E. Ronaldson"
1992 - Fire Boat "Kevin C. Kane"

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GO TO NEXT PAGE 
Page 2 - Historic Collection 1862-1885
______________________________

 

 

-------------------------

Thanks to John Landers and Beth Klein for sharing these amazing historical images
of these old FDNY fireboats
August 2013 - January 2017

 

 

Historic Page 1 - Overview

New York City, NY

F.D.N.Y. - Historic Page 1


Updated January 4, 2017

FDNY Historic Page 1 Overview FDNY Historic Page 2 1862-1885
FDNY Historic Page 3 1890-1898 FDNY Historic Page 4 1903-1907
FDNY Historic Page 5 1908-1908 FDNY Historic Page 6 1914-1938
FDNY Historic Page 7 1954-1958 FDNY Historic Page 8 1958-1992
   
FDNY P1 The Marine Division FDNY P2 The Old Boats
FDNY P3 Old Marine 1 "McKean" FDNY P4 New Marine 1 "343"
FDNY P5 Old Marine 2 "Harvey" FDNY P6 The Small Boats
FDNY P7 Old Marine 6 "Kane" FDNY P8 New Marine 6 "Bravest"
FDNY P9 Old Marine 9 "Fire Fighter" FDNY P10 New Marine 9 "Fire Fighter II
NYPD P11 Police Boats FDNY P12 New Marine  "Feehan"

 

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Britt Crosby
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