This is a Canton Ohio Fire Dept. Badge for the City's First Steam Fire Engine: Canton No. 1.
The city of Canton Ohio has a long history for firefighting, having set up the beginnings of the Canton Fire Department not long after the city was incorporated, in 1822.
In January 1868, a disastrous fire in the Cassily block destroyed five businesses including a tailor and clothing store, two dry goods stores, and two boot and shoe stores. Louis Schaefer, owner of the new opera house, pushed city council to purchase a new steam engine. Within three weeks he was given authority to buy a horse drawn Amoskeag steam engine for $4,500.00. A new horse drawn hose carriage and new hose were also needed if the steam engine was going to work effectively. Even though the city council was not happy about having to make another purchase they chose to authorize Mr. Schaefer to make the additional purchases.
On May 3, 1868, the Amoskeag steam engine was delivered by rail to the City. There were many people present, even at the rail yard. The steamer was polished up on her first day and tested the second day. She was referred to as "Canton No. 1" and the "Schaefer", due to the large part that Louis Schaefer played in purchasing her. Soon after her first test it was very evident that a better water source was needed other than just cisterns. The steamer could empty a cistern in just a matter of minutes. The dilemma soon gave Louis Schaefer another job.
Louis Schaefer, Jacob Hawk and Daniel Worley were appointed on a committee to study a new water works for the City of Canton. Louis Schaefer visited the water works in both Philadelphia and New York. He estimated that the City would need $40,000.00 for this project. A levy to tax real and personal property to provide a $50,000.00 loan for the project was passed. It was established that the source of water would me Meyers Lake. A water works was built along with a system of hydrants for the steamer to connect to.
The delivery of the steamer and hose carriage marked the beginning of Canton's horse drawn fire engine era and the decline of hand drawn hose companies. The hand drawn hose companied continued until sometime around the 1890's when most of these companies were replaced by horse drawn hose wagons and chemical carts.
Approximately 2" x 2"
MATERIALS / CONSTRUCTION:
Badge is early stamped nickel with applied nickel plated nickel number and letter, and brass safety type pinback with early, overlength pin.
Vertical safety-style pin
This is from a firefighting collection which we will be listing more of over the next few months. PEJM19 LFGEX04/17/20
8(Excellent): The badge shows minor to moderate wear, overall excellent condition.
GUARANTEE: As with all my artifacts, this piece is guaranteed to be original, as described.