Fire bucket, inscribed "Library Company of Philadelphia", late 18th-early 19th century
Photo by Peter Harholdt,...
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Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004 (before conservation)

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Leather and paint; H. 18 in. (45.7 cm), D. 9.75 in. (4.8 cm), Diam. 9 3/4 in. (4.8 cm)
Library Company of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Pa.)
In the 18th century the fighting of fires was largely a volunteer effort, with water being drawn at a public pump or a well, and buckets passed along a line of men to the site of the fire. The name of an owner was painted on each bucket to make it possible to return it when the fire had been put out. This is one of the fire buckets in use at the Library Company, one of the organizations founded by Franklin and some of his associates.
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