Albany, Oregon Fire Department Lithograph 1880

Currency:USD Category:Western Americana Start Price:1,500.00 USD Estimated At:3,000.00 - 7,000.00 USD
Albany, Oregon Fire Department Lithograph 1880
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Gorgeous hand-colored lithograph that served as a firefighter membership certificate for the Albany Fire Department. Text reads: "This Certifies That H.C. Harkness is a member of Rescue Hook & Ladder Company; No. 1, Albany Fire Department." Two lines below include signatures of Joseph Webber, Chief Eng. and then L.N. Liggett and P.H. Raymond. (According to the 1878 census, Liggett worked as an accountant and Raymond was the postmaster.) Below the signatures, "Albany Or Apr. 12th 1880." Joseph Webber was elected the first fire chief of the newly formed Albany Fire Department in 1878. The lithograph is striking. Many vignettes of dramatic firefighting scenes: a firefighter returning a rescued child with a large building burning in the background (top center); a different large building on fire with hundreds of firemen with steam-powered fire engine wagons, hoses and jets of water (bottom center). Images of 19th century firefighting equipment (ladders, bells, buckets) fill the spaces between the firemen pictures. There isn't any wasted space on this lithograph. The colors (red, orange, brown, black, tan) work together to provide a truly eye-catching piece. The lithograph has been professionally mounted and framed. The matting and frame accentuate the colors of the images. Condition: Very good. Small repairs along the border. Few tears 1/3 of the way from bottom center. These damages might not even be noticeable if it were hanging. Lithograph dimensions: 15 ½" x 20 ½." Framed dimensions: 31 ½" x 27 ½" Published by Currier & Ives. Copyright, 1877, by Currier & Ives, N.Y. Located at 115 Nassau St., New York. The partnership of Nathaniel Currier & James Ives began in 1857 in New York. They described themselves as "Publishers of Cheap and Popular Prints," completing at least 7500 lithographs in 72 years. To create this lithograph, Currier & Ives drew from two previous series: "American Fireman" (Louis Maurer, 1858) and "The Life of the Fireman" (Louis Maurer, 1858; Charles Parsons, 1861; and John Cameron, 1866). Currier even worked as a volunteer firefighter in the 1850s in New York. By 1877, volunteer fire departments had been replaced by professional departments. This lithograph certainly was trying to capture the romance from that part of U.S. history. [ref: http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/0209/firemen.html] Burger CollectionCity: AlbanyCounty: LinnState: ORDate: