Monthly Archives: February 2007

Fires, Fights and Benjamin Franklin: Philadelphia’s Volunteer Firemen, Part Two

  By 1752, there were already eight active fire companies in Philadelphia. That same year, Franklin built on his own achievement by helping to found the Philadelphia Contributionship, the oldest fire insurance company in America. Interestingly, though Franklin modeled his creations after their English counterparts, the American system was fundamentally different. In England, fire brigades […]
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Fires, Fights and Benjamin Franklin: Philadelphia’s Volunteer Firemen, Part One

  “The alarm of fire being given Onward we did go Their house we broke, and their engine took And beat their members also.” (From “The Franklin Hose Song,” c. 1850) Tracing their roots back to a proud roster of founding fathers and fires fought, the volunteer fire companies that preceded the establishment of the […]
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An Iron Baron’s West Philadelphia Castle

Nathaniel Burt wrote of Philadelphia iron-making entrepreneurs such as the Whartons, Brookes, Rutters and Potts: “Along with the New York patroon and the New England shipowner, he does provide something of a landowning equivalent to offset the more purely trading wealth of the region’s old families.” 1 Thus the Whartons became the lords of Batsto, […]
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