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FIREBOATS
Photos by Britton W Crosby

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New York City, NY

F.D.N.Y. - Historic Page 2 - 1862-1865


Original Feature Posted April 26, 2004 - Re-launched January 28, 2012
FDNY Page 12 Added November 2013    Reorganized as Historic Page 2 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 2
"1862-1885"
The following special photos were submitted as listed below.
(Added August 2013 - Updated December 2015)

______________________________

GO TO PREVIOUS PAGE 
Page 1 - Historic Collection Overview
______________________________

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"
 

______________________________

GO TO NEXT PAGE 
Page 3 - Historic Collection 1890-1898
______________________________

 

 

Prev   Top   Next

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.

 

Prev   Top   Next

Steam Tug "John Fuller" 1866

 


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.

 


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

 "John Fuller"
(Rental c. 1866-1875)
Perhaps the "first" firefighting boat in NYC.
 


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

 "John Fuller"
(Rental c. 1866-1875)
Perhaps the "first" firefighting boat in NYC.
A salvage tug equipped with Amoskeag fire pumps
Rented as needed "On Call" basis.
Berthed at 307 West Street

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.

 

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

 "John Fuller"
(Rental c. 1866-1875)
Perhaps the "first" firefighting boat in NYC.
A salvage tug equipped with Amoskeag fire pumps
Rented as needed "On Call" basis.
Berthed at 307 West Street

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.

 

A Powerful Fire Extinguisher - Exhibition Trip of the Fire Steamer John Fuller

    The steam-tug John Fuller, belonging to Messrs J. C. Baxter & Sons, went out yesterday for the purpose of giving an exhibition of the power f her steam-pumps, used in the extinguishment of fires that occur along the waterfront either of this City of of Brooklyn. The Fuller has been connected with the Fire Department of New York and Brooklyn since the organization of the paid departments, and has done remarkably good service when her aid has been called in.

    The trip yesterday was given at the request of the new appointees of the New York Department, who knew nothing as to her capacity and usefulness as a fire extinguisher. There were present on this trip, also, a number of the members of the Boards of Marine and Fire Underwriters, members of the press, the principal officers of the Fire Departments of New York and Brooklyn, and other invited guests.

    After leaving the foot of Charlton Street, North River, at 10. and the foot of Wall Street, East River, at 10-1/2 A.M., the Fuller steamed down to City Island, where he gave an exhibition of her powers, playing eight powerful streams of water at one and the same time, a quantity sufficient, apparently, to deluge any conflagration against which they might be directed. The water is, of course, drawn up from the river.

    The Fuller is a large sized tug, built in Philadelphia as a wrecking and fire steamer, has steam cylinders twenty-three inches square, and is capable of throwing 8,000 gallons of water per minute. The eight streams can be turned in any direction, or can all be concentrated, if necessary, against any one point. During the drouth which afflicted Philadelphia, last year, she threw a column of water from the river, one foot in diameter and 110 feet high, into the Fairmount reservoir for eighteen days and nights, uninterruptedly. Her performances, yesterday, gave ample satisfaction to the crowd who were invited to witness them and all were lavish in their praises of her extraordinary capacity.

    She lies every night as the foot of Charlton Street, with fires "up," in readiness to proceed wherever her services are needed. The excursionist returned about 6 o'clock P.M.

From a clipping from New York Times July 23, 1870
Describing the actions of the first vessel providing firefighting capabilities
in the City of New York and Brooklyn.
Provided by John Landers

 "John Fuller"
(Rental c. 1866-1875)
Perhaps the "first" firefighting boat in NYC.
A salvage tug equipped with Amoskeag fire pumps
Rented as needed "On Call" basis.
Berthed at 307 West Street

 

Prev   Top   Next

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.

 

Prev   Top   Next

Fireboat "William F. Havemeyer" 1875

 


Drawing of the "William F. Havemeyer" 
Image from Nov 11, 1882 cover of Harper's Weekly
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection
 

"William F. Havemeyer"
(1875-1901)
106' x 22' x 10'. 6000 gpm.


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

"William F. Havemeyer"
(1875-1901)
106' x 22' x 10'. 6000 gpm.

 


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"
 

 


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"
 

 


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"
 

 


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"
 

 


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"
 

 

Transcript of a Nov 11, 1882 Harper's Weekly Story.

THE FIRE-BOAT OF NEW YORK HARBOR
   Not least important in the Fire Department of New York city is the harbor fire-boat William F. Havemeyer, or, as she is officially known, Engine No. 43, N.Y.F.D. This fire-boat is a powerful steam-tug of 110 tons burden, and was built in 1875 by Wood & Dialogue, of Camden, New Jersey, by order of Fire Commissioners Perley, Van Cott, and Hatch. She is propelled by a low-pressure engine of 300 horse-power, and is one of the swiftest tugs in the harbor. She has made the distance from her berth - Pier 1, North River, close beside Castle Garden-to the foot of West Twelfth Street in twelve minutes.

    For fire apparatus the Havemeyer is provided with two powerful Amoskeag pumps, capable of throwing 2000 gallons of water per minute. This immense volume of water can be thrown through ten separate lines of hose, or connected in one, from which it discharges with force sufficient to overthrow brick walls or tear down a substantial building.

    An amusing incident in the career of the fire-boat happened a few years ago, upon her return from a short excursion down the bay, with a party of Western chief engineers of fire departments on board. An elevator in Brooklyn was on fire, and several tub-boats were throwing streams of water upon it. As the Havemeyer approached, with a view of rendering assistance, and at the same time showing the Western visitors of what she was capable, the tugs directed the several streams against her for the purpose of driving her off. Instead, however, of leaving she turned two of her powerful streams upon them, and within five minutes had the field to herself having completely deluged her opponents. She then went to work and subdued the fire, to the great admiration of her guests.

    Her equipment includes nearly 5000 feet of the best rubber hose of which is three inches in diameter, the largest ever made, and a large assortment of nozzles, among which is a "Siamese," or double nozzle, and a "double Siamese," or quadruple nozzle. She is connected with the regular fire alarm of the city by a cable, which can be detached at an instant's notice, and with the several engine-houses by telephone.  Her fires are never allowed to go out, and a constant head of fifty pounds of steam is maintained in her boilers. She is always clear of her berth within a minute after receiving an alarm, ad has been cleared and got under way in thirty seconds.

    The crew of fourteen men is commanded by Captain R.R. Farrell, who ranks with the foreman of a land company, and Lieutenant W.C. Braisted, who ranks as assistant foreman. There are also two pilots, two engineers, three stokers, and five men who act as deck hands, or, at a fire, as firemen. The duty is arduous, for all hands must sleep on board, and though they may take their meals at their homes, no more than two men are allowed to leave the boat at a time, and at fires the work is incessant and more prolonged than that of land companies. The reasons of this prolonged duty is that the Havemeyer uses salt-water, she is employed to drench out fires that come within her reach, in order that Croton may not be wasted. Thus, during the holiday season last winter, she was stationed for ten days opposite the United States Storage Warehouse fire on South Street, during all of which time she kept a steady stream playing upon the smouldering ruins.

     The fire-boat is expected to answer all calls along the water-front of either river within the city limits, and upon her arrival at the scene of a fire her Captain reports to the Chief of Battalion in charge, and receives orders from him the same as a foreman of a land company. In addition to this duty, the fire-boat must be ready at all times to go to the assistance of any vessels getting on fire in the harbor, and, if necessary, must tow all vessels in dangerous proximity to the burning one to a place of safety, or tow away the burning vessel itself. On special occasions she has responded to calls beyond the city limits, once going as far as Tarrytown, and once, when Hoboken firemen were on a strike, rendering valuable assistance in subduing a fire that broke out on the Eagle-Steamship Company's pier, and saving much property.

     It is estimated that the Havemeyer has saved from destruction property worth more than her weight in gold, and realizing her importance, and also her inability to all calls made upon her along our constantly increasing line of water-front, the Fire Commissioners have ordered another fire-boat to be built. This new boat, now in the process of construction, will be considerably larger than the Havemeyer.

     The crew of the present fire-boat are an active, well-trained lot of men, who take great pride in their craft, and spend their spare time in burnishing her brass fittings, painting her wood-work, or in otherwise beautifying her. They have also on occasions exhibited great personal bravery, not only at fires, but while lying quietly at Pier 1. There is not one of them who is not ready to spring overboard in answer to a cry of distress, and several persons who have fallen or been thrown into the water in this vicinity owe their lives to the brave crew of the fire-boat Havemeyer.

 

Transcript of 1882 Harper's Weekly story    
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"
 

 

 

Prev   Top   Next

Fireboat "Zophar Mills" 1882

 


The fireboat "Zophar Mills" prior to delivery 
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

"Zophar Mills"
(1882-1934)
120' x 25' x 12'. 6000 gpm.
The original Zophar Mills at Prusey and Jones Ship Building Company
in Wilmington, Delaware prior to delivery.

Note: The Zophar Mills was named after a New York volunteer
who did not miss a fire in 45 years of service.

 


1883 Drawing 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
Twin Clapp and Jones 3000 gpm pumps
Accommodations for 19 crew members.
Served 52 years
"Engine 51"
"Engine 77"
"Engine 51"

 


Drawing 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
Twin Clapp and Jones 3000 gpm pumps
Accommodations for 19 crew members.
Served 52 years
"Engine 51"
"Engine 77"
"Engine 51"

 


Photo 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"

 


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"

 


Fireboat "Zophar Mills" at the General Slocum fire June 15, 1904 
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"

 


Fireboat "Zophar Mills" at the General Slocum fire June 15, 1904
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"

*******************************
THE GENERAL SLOCUM FIRE
The General Slocum was an excursion steamer. On June 15, 1904, the Slocum had over 1,400
people on board, including a large number of children on a Sunday school outing. Fire was reported
about 10:11 A.M. when the vessel was at Hells Gate near Hallets Point. Box 2339 was transmitted.
The fireboat Abram S. Hewitt was dispatched. The fire burned rapidly and 1,021 deaths
were reported. Only about 400 were rescued. The Slocum sank near North Brothers Island.
It continues to be one of the worst marine disasters.

*******************************


Fireboat "Zophar Mills" at the General Slocum fire June 15, 1904
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"


 


Fireboats "Zophar Mills" and "Abram S Hewitt" and "Velox" at 1909 pier fire
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"

 


Fireboats "Zophar Mills" "Abram S Hewitt" and "The New Yorker" at 1909 pier fire
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"

 


Fireboats "Zophar Mills" "Abram S Hewitt" and "The New Yorker" at 1909 pier fire
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"

 


Fireboat "Zophar Mills" and "William Gaynor" at 1915 Pier Fire - 
Note original image from a glass negative (note the crack).
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"

 


Fireboat "Zophar Mills" and "William Gaynor" at 1915 Pier Fire - 
Note similar photo as above from non-cracked glass negative
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"

 


Fireboat "Zophar Mills" on right with celebratory water display in honor
of the fleet's newest boat - The "John J. Harvey" Oct 6, 1931.
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"

 

 


Fireboat "Zophar Mills" at Engine 51 Quarters Pier 42 North River 
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"


Fireboat "Zophar Mills" has reached the end of her FDNY days and awaits dismantling.
Gone is the pilot house name board as well as the roof top, bow and stern monitors. c.1934
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"

 

Prev   Top   Next

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"

 


Fireboat "Seth Low" with fleet  
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

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

 


Fireboat "Seth Low" at the marine shops c.1908-09 
John Landers - Beth Klein Collection

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


EXTREMELY RARE PHOTO
Showing the Seth Low in Reserve Status c.1908-1909

 

 


ARTICLE FROM JAN 30, 1904

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

 

 

 

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Page 1 - Historic Collection Overview
______________________________

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"
 

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Page 3 - Historic Collection 1890-1898
______________________________

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

Historic Page 2 - 1862-1885

New York City, NY

F.D.N.Y. - Historic Page 2 - 1862-1865


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
CapeCodFD