National Museum of American History
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
2nd floor, Center Floor Plan
Visitors can watch through large windows as curators process a collection of nearly 4,000 firefighting and maritime materials that date from 1825-1875, the heyday of voluntary fire organizations. Highlights include an 1892 Steam Fire Engine Model, an 1850 firefighter's parade hat, and many maritime and firefighting paintings, including one by Currier and Ives. Also on view on the 1st floor (west corridor) is an 1850 hand-drawn hose reel, a hand-drawn cart with a reel that carried fire hoses. Donated in October 2005 to the museum by CIGNA, the nation's oldest fire and marine insurer.