Tools and Uniforms

The evolution of New York City firefighters' gear over 30 years is displayed using mannequins on our first floor. These mannequins are dressed with the protective outer garments and breathing apparatus used by firefighters in the 1970's, 80's and 90's. All three represent members of truck companies, and are surrounded by some of the forcible entry tools and rescue equipment they would use on the job, including the versatile Halligan tool. Dramatic differences can be seen in the transition from the turnout coat of the 1970's to the bunker gear of today, while the basic form of the firefighter's helmet has remained relatively unchanged. This exhibit allows visitors to compare firefighting today to what it was like a century or more ago.

Our Permanent Exhibitions

One of the most interesting stories, not told elsewhere in the City, is that of the early days of fire fighting in New York. The museum is privileged to house much of the City's collection of historic firefighting artifacts, memorabilia and equipment dating from as early as the 1650s. Together our collection of documents, firefighting apparatus, fire marks, buckets, trumpets, helmets, rattles, lanterns, uniforms and other artifacts tell a powerful story of early New York, the challenges faced by our ancestors and their ingenuity and skill in preventing and controlling fires in a setting and conditions difficult to imagine today.

Firefighting on Parade

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Below are links to other galleries within this site:
25th Anniversary
FDNY in 1970s
Remembering Their Prayers
Halligan Tool Case
Fire Mark Gallery
Marine Operations


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On Display

Our exhibits trace the development of firefighting in NYC. More

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Featured Exhibit

Find out more about new exhibits installed at the Museum. More

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Online Catalog

Our online database contains records and photos of our objects in storage. More

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