HELMETS & HELMET SHIELDS PRESENTATION SHIELDS Volunteer Department
Presentation Shields: leather
Presentation shields are large beautifully designed and decorated "shield-shaped" leather pieces give from gifts from one Volunteer Company to another usually during visits and parades.
From Stonington, CT to Passaic Engine Company 1 of Paterson
Washington 1 of Brooklyn to Passaic 1 of Paterson -- NY City Fire Museum
Newark Liberty 1 to Passaic 1 of Patertson -- NY City Fire Museum
Newark 11 to Neptune 2 of Paterson -- NY City Fire Museum
Volunteer Exempt Association of NY to Paterson Engine 9 - NY City Fire Museum
Assistant Chief Frank W King
This leather fire helmet, now in the Smithsonian Museum, was made by Cairns & Brother of New York, New York (before they moved to Clifton, NJ). This helmet was that of Frank W. King of Paterson, a Volunteer Assistant Chief Engineer from 1886-1888. The presentation medallion on the rear brim was likely added sometime after is term expired in 1888. The leather helmet is painted white and has sixty-four combs with a high metal eagle finial mounted on the crown. The brim has a stamped scrolled border, with two hydrants flanking an emblem-shaped brass medallion in the rear that bears the engraving "Frank W. King, Ass't Chief Engineer, 1886-1888." The painted leather shield bears the text “ASS’T CHIEF/ENGINEER and his initials "FWK" and an image of a spider-type hose reel in the center. Frank W. King had been a member of the Hibernia Hose Co. No. 3 (which the painting depicts) and served as the company's secretary before his election to Assistant Chief Engineer, with its standard two years of service. He was a machinist by trade.
Assistant Chief Samuel S Pounds
This leather fire helmet, now in the Smithsonian Museum, was made by Cairns & Brother of New York, New York before they moved to Clifton, NJ. This helmet was likely presented to Samuel S. Pounds of Paterson, New Jersey after he finished his term as assistant chief engineer from 1884-1885.The leather helmet is painted white and has sixty-four combs with a high eagle finial mounted on the crown. The rear brim of this hat displays a stamped scrolled border, two embossed hexagonal hydrants with hoses, and an engraved plate that reads "presented" to "Samuel S. Pounds, Assistant Chief Engineer, P. F. D. 1884-1886." The leather frontpiece bears the text “ASS’T CHIEF ENGINEER and his initials "S.S.P." The shield has a painted image of a steam fire engine in the center. Samuel Pounds had previously been a member of the Lafayette Steam Fire Engine Company No. 8 on Wayne Avenue. He was a machinist by trade.
Chief David I Turnbull
Chief Turnbull's helmet from his tenure as a Chief (1877-79) in the volunteer department. This white leather helmet has 24 combs, a high eagle finial, and a rear brim embossed with an image of a hoses, hooks, ladders, lamps, and horns. A metal medallion sits in the center of the image with the engraving “David I. Turnbull, appointed May 1, 1889.” The shield reads “CHIEF/D.I.T.” with a painted central image of a fire trumpet with a helmet perched on top and a variety of firefighting tools crossed behind the trumpet. David Turnbull also was appointed Chief Engineer by the Paterson aldermen, serving from May 1889 until May 1890, making him the first Chief Engineer of the paid department. The helmet is in the Smithsonian Museum collection
Chief John Stagg
This leather fire helmet was made by Cairns & Brother of New York, New York during the late19th century. The helmet consists of 64 combs and is painted white. There is an ivy vine scroll pattern around the brim and a small metal frontpiece on the rear brim that is engraved. A high eagle finial is mounted on the top of the helmet’s crown. The gold-painted leather shield has a central image of a steam powered fire engine, with the text “CHIEF/ENGINEER/P.F.D.” John Stagg served as Chief Engineer of the Volunteer Fire Department from 1887 thru 1888, and was made chief of the paid Paterson Fire Department in 1891. The helmet is in the Smithsonian Museum.
Chief Bartholomew Riley
Chief Riley served the Volunteer Department as Assistant Chief Engineer in 1875 and Chief Engineer 1879 and 1880. His helmet shield is from the Chief's term and depicts a hand pulled steam fire engine
Assistant Chief Peter Zeluff
Peter Zeluff was a legendary Paterson fireman. He was an assistant chief in the Volunteer Department in 1883 and when the department went paid he became Superintendent of Fire Alarm and held that job for decades. He lived on the corner of Temple Street and North 9th street. In the picture below, his spectacular preserved helmet, now at the Smithsonian is a 16 coomb helmet with high eagle finial and painting of what looks like Cataract Hose Company 2 which was quartered at the Godwin Ave and Auburn Street firehouse.
Below are aditional photos of Peter Zeluff: at left during his tenure as assistant chief (L to R are Zeluff, Chief John MacDonald and Assistant Chief Samuel S Pounds) and at right as Superintendent of Fire Alarm in paid department
Passaic Engine Company 1
Below are Paterson Fire Department Volunteer era helmets which are not from the city of Passaic. After 1871, the company ran out of quarters located at 112 (not 115) Van Houten Street near Washington Street
Neptune Engine Company 2 Fireman Charles Moore
Fireman Charles Moore s was the patriarch of the Moore Funeral Home family and served with Neptune Engine Company 2, which at that time was quartered at the Hotel Street Firehouse on Hotel (later called Hamilton St). This collection depicts his spectacular helmet which has a Firemen with Trumpet Finial and his initials on the shield, as well as the Parade Belt and company ring (a rare collectible) -- all courtesy of Moore Family
Neptune 2 Ring
Early shield -- Dayspring Collection
Parade Belt Neptune Engine 2
The brass slide was used to hang a cap or helmet
Washington Engine Company 3
Washington Engine Company 3 was organized in 1821 and after 1856 ran out of the firehouse at 77 Prospect Street. The helmet has a Fireman with trumpet finial. The initials of the firefighter who owned the helmet are missing. This helmet is now in the NJ State Fireman's Museum in Boonton, NJ
Vigilant Engine Company 6
Liberty Engine Company 7
Liberty Engine Company 7 was organized on August 9th, 1871, and went into service in April, 1872. Their first engine was a piano-box engine, formerly used by Engine No. 6. They were first located in a one-story frame building on the lot where their present quarters are situated: 298 Tyler Street (later renamed as 176 Twelfth Avenue).
This leather fire helmet was manufactured by Cairns & Brother of New York, New York in the late 19th century. The 16 comb hat is painted black overall, with ivy vine scroll work stamped around the brim, and a two hoses flanking an inset metal frontpiece on the back of the brim. There is a Fireman with Trumpet Finial. The shield is black leather with a red background and white lettering. The frontpiece reads “LIBERTY 7” in white leather and is signed “Daniel Gregory/Paterson, NJ” in the center. Gregory served as a member of several different Paterson Fire Companies, and was an officer in the Exempt Association of Paterson.
Lafayette Engine Company 8
Passaic County Historical Society
Paterson Steam Fire Engine Company 9 Collection
This is a high eagle helmet with brass finial and 8 combs made by well know helmet maker Anderson and Jones of 184 Grand Street in New York City.
The collection at left shows the leather helmet shield lettered top to bottom as Paterson 9 Engine. There is a parade belt leather slide marked with a 9 and a the PFD Uniform buttons
Cataract Hose 2
Cataract Hose Company 2, named after the Great Falls was located at Godwin Ave and Auburn Street. The metal shield is characteristic of a helmet used for parades and ceremonies
Hibernia Hose 3
Eagle Hook and Ladder One
Helmet Shield and Belt Collection
Next two photos show a collection of Volunteer era parade belts, helmet and presentation shields that belonged to the Exempt Firemen of Paterson. The first photo was either at the 23rd Avenue or 17th Avenue firehouse where relics were stored after Exempt Home on Clark Street closed. The second one is their current home, at the Passaic County Historical Society at Lambert Castle on Valley Road, Paterson.
With respect to the photo above of the Paterson Exempt Home Display of memorabilia at Passaic County Historical Society: Most of the shields were on the helmets used by firefighters. The metal shields were used at parades and musters. The larger ones were gifts that companies exchanged at Musters or visits. The belts were worn during parades not during firefighting.
Top row – All but two are Paterson First shield on left (which either has an 18 or L8) is not Paterson. It is a metal shield used on helmets during parades and Musters The next (L-R) are: Liberty 7 (Tyler St) and Passaic 1 Engine Companies (? quarters location at time of this shield) 4th from left is a PFD Deputy Chief’s Shield from the early paid or semi-paid department. It is not from Volunteer era 5th from left is Paterson: Lafayette Engine Co 8 (Wayne Ave) 6th from left is not Paterson – looks like a hook and ladder shield, but H&L 1 in Paterson was called Eagle Last on right is from Lafayette Engine Co 8 of Paterson (Wayne Ave) is a metal shield used on helmets during parades and Musters Second Row from top First four from left are not Paterson 5th from left is likely not Paterson – I do not see the word Eagle 6th from left Hibernia Hose 3 is Paterson 7th and 8th from left are not Paterson Last on right is Paterson: Passaic Engine Co 1 Third Row from top First 5 L-R (one is an empty spot) are not Paterson 6th from left is Washington 3 (a steamer company) is Paterson (Prospect St Firehouse) 7th and 8th from left are not Paterson Last on right is – If it is Protection 5, a Water St located steamer, then it is from Paterson Fourth Row from top A Parade Belt – Assistant Chief Engineer – could be from anywhere and LB would be the Chief’s initials Fifth Row from top The larger first shield is a presentation, not a helmet shield. On the bottom it looks like it says Neptune 2 which makes it a Paterson piece 2nd and 3rd shield from left are not Paterson 4th from left is Paterson: Neptune 2, a steamer company on Hotel (Hamilton) Street. Letters on bottom are the fireman’s initials 5th from left with number 7 - top says Foreman: Could be from Liberty 7 of Paterson, otherwise it is not 6th from top is from Paterson’s Protection Engine Company 5 on Water St 7th from left is Hose 2 Shield with damaged top – if it said Cataract it would be Paterson 8th from left is not Paterson Last one on right is a nice Presentation Shield from Protection Engine 5 to Neptune Engine Company 2 of Paterson Rows 6 through 13 are all Parade Belts: Respectively 6) Paterson’s Passaic Engine Company One (the sleeve notes the company’s organization in 1815) 7) Hibernia Hose 3 was a Paterson Hose Company. The sleeve marked 5 suggests a non Paterson company 8) Cataract 2 definitely a Paterson Hose Company (Godwin and Auburn Streets) 9) Germania (2) was one of Paterson’s Hook and Ladder Companies that ran out of the Prospect Street Firehouse. The sleeve is missing 10) I cannot make out the wording on the next belt 11) Protection 5 was a Paterson Company 12) Northern Liberty is not Paterson 13) Liberty 7 definitely Paterson (Tyler Street – later renamed 12th Avenue)