Old Fire Equipment on Display
A vast collection of fire fighting equipment. that dramatically illustrates the manner in which fires were combated in early New Orleans, has been placed on display in the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans. The crude equipment, including the wagons and clothing. the fire marks, and trumpets, recalls the days when fires were frequent and large losses were almost a certain result.
There were a number of occasions during the nineteenth century when a firemen refused to fight a fire unless the building was insured, or unless a favorable offer for the extinguishment could be made by the owner of the building involved. As the city grew, and fire insurance companies made rapid advances, the need of a tax supported Fire Department in the city to lower insurance rates was seen. This department became a paid branch of the city government in 1891.