Housewatch Journals

mack

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Other departments also show up on eBay. Detroit has some fire report log books at $300 each..
 
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johnd248

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Jul 14, 2007
Messages
4,397
I remember when I rode with E 248 I found some old company journals. Some when back to the horse drawn days.
The length of some of the runs was unbelievable. Of course, without radios, the company was OOS until they returned to quarters. They had a lot of history and I left them there. Unknown what happened when we moved to Snyder Avenue in 1972.
 

GeoC

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Joined
Jul 25, 2018
Messages
188
After these postings I see a glut of Journals on E Bay and a lot of attics being cleaned out!
 

mack

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One year way back (don't remember what year) we were told to separate all stored Company Journals & keep those 20 yrs or less .....a cutdown NYC Sanitation truck was sent & pulled up on the apron & the older than 20 yr Journals were tossed out the 2nd fl office window into the truck....we kept a few of the older ones....for years I had a few old ones that I carried around from place to place....after awhile I had offered them to Jack Lerch RIP at the Mand Library & he wanted no part of them....he said they had plenty....I brought the 5 or 6 that I had into my then FH & left them there....I did keep one that was from 108 on Siegel St & when I looked into it again I saw that the first entry on the first page was from a FF in 108 who at the time of the entry was a Senior FF & had been a Friend & Mentor to me ....it read 1800 hrs "Fireman Bonadio LAD*108 assumes HW Dept PAQ examined & in good order" ( the standard entry w/ "PAQ" meaning "Property & Quarters" ) .....the next entry was at 1820 hrs by the Officer of 119 (pre TL) which read "LAD*119 enters Qtrs relocated to LAD*108 who is operating at the Second Alarm"..... I knew that this particular FF who made the entry & was no longer with us & had a Son John then still OTJ....I gave him the Journal....awhile after he told me that he brought the Journal to a Family Thanksgiving Dinner & they all were amazed to see Dick's entry in his handwriting & that it was just prior to him responding to a Second Alarm ......at least this old Journal did not go to waste.......Dick Bonadio extreme left... View attachment 15664
S 17.jpg
 

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Roofman4

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
71
Quite a few years (20+) back, we had a gentleman who was a non-active, associate member of my volunteer firehouse in Maryland. He was a public relations guru, emcee for events. This gentleman's father was a NYC Fireman from 1939 to 1961 in Ladder 17. As the story went, his father was working a detail or OT, not sure exactly, but was at a Brooklyn FH. The day tour he was there, sometime in the late 40's, the Captain told the men they were cleaning house. He proceeded to tell the story he remembers from his dad. The storage room of the firehouse was cleaned out and they threw away old gear, boots, old broken equipment and journals. He asked the Captain if he could keep some of the journals. At the end of the tour, he went on his way. He kept the journals and whatever else he rescued from trash heap until his passing and his son took possession of the items. Anyway, in the late 90's or early 2000, we were holding a silent auction fund raiser. One of the items our associate member donated for the auction was a FH Journal from FDNY. It covered the dates (roughly) from November 1899 to August 1900.

Once the auction was over and the hangover hit, I forgot about the journal. A few months passed and the nights events became clear again, I thought about the journal. I called the winner of the journal and had the pleasure of borrowing the book to look at. We both wanted to solve the mystery of where the journal was from. We wrote down all the box numbers and the very few addresses found in the journal. We then came upon a list of Brooklyn box locations. We plotted all the box locations on a two-sided folding NYC map. Once all said and done, all the locations surrounded E231 aka E131 at the time at their location on Pitkin Ave, predating Ladder 120. Pretty cool. Based on the calls logged for 1900 up to August, we estimated the E131 ran about 200-225 runs. That is purely a SWAG number.

The things I remember about the turn of the century journal are:
There were key numbers recorded in the front and the Fireman it was assigned to. Box reset keys I assume?
The Horses (ID Numbers) assigned to the FH recorded on the inside cover.
The fireman logged in and out when they went home for dinner.
Looks liked they worked 7 days straight before a day off and I assume they all lived in the vicinity of the FH.
There were entries talking about serving a "Combustibles Notice" to a location.
Entries noting the farrier in the FH to re-shoe the horse #____
Deliveries of hay, oats and feed for the horses.
The box numbers are the same today as they were over 100 years ago.
Last but certainly not least, the penmanship was excellent.

Thought I'd share,
Roofman4
 

mack

Administrator
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Messages
11,260
Quite a few years (20+) back, we had a gentleman who was a non-active, associate member of my volunteer firehouse in Maryland. He was a public relations guru, emcee for events. This gentleman's father was a NYC Fireman from 1939 to 1961 in Ladder 17. As the story went, his father was working a detail or OT, not sure exactly, but was at a Brooklyn FH. The day tour he was there, sometime in the late 40's, the Captain told the men they were cleaning house. He proceeded to tell the story he remembers from his dad. The storage room of the firehouse was cleaned out and they threw away old gear, boots, old broken equipment and journals. He asked the Captain if he could keep some of the journals. At the end of the tour, he went on his way. He kept the journals and whatever else he rescued from trash heap until his passing and his son took possession of the items. Anyway, in the late 90's or early 2000, we were holding a silent auction fund raiser. One of the items our associate member donated for the auction was a FH Journal from FDNY. It covered the dates (roughly) from November 1899 to August 1900.

Once the auction was over and the hangover hit, I forgot about the journal. A few months passed and the nights events became clear again, I thought about the journal. I called the winner of the journal and had the pleasure of borrowing the book to look at. We both wanted to solve the mystery of where the journal was from. We wrote down all the box numbers and the very few addresses found in the journal. We then came upon a list of Brooklyn box locations. We plotted all the box locations on a two-sided folding NYC map. Once all said and done, all the locations surrounded E231 aka E131 at the time at their location on Pitkin Ave, predating Ladder 120. Pretty cool. Based on the calls logged for 1900 up to August, we estimated the E131 ran about 200-225 runs. That is purely a SWAG number.

The things I remember about the turn of the century journal are:
There were key numbers recorded in the front and the Fireman it was assigned to. Box reset keys I assume?
The Horses (ID Numbers) assigned to the FH recorded on the inside cover.
The fireman logged in and out when they went home for dinner.
Looks liked they worked 7 days straight before a day off and I assume they all lived in the vicinity of the FH.
There were entries talking about serving a "Combustibles Notice" to a location.
Entries noting the farrier in the FH to re-shoe the horse #____
Deliveries of hay, oats and feed for the horses.
The box numbers are the same today as they were over 100 years ago.
Last but certainly not least, the penmanship was excellent.

Thought I'd share,
Roofman4

Thanks Roofman. Good story and history.

In the old journals, you find entries for all alarms received ("RTA" - Received Telegraph Alarm"), responses when company turned out and timed checks of engine company steamer pressure - very important for responses.

I also remember other items stored in cellars. There were bins with old turnout gear. There were Fallout Shelter items including food. Auxiliary Firefighter gear, including old red CD helmets, were stored. There were boxes with old helmet frontpieces - not the newer style frontpiece with company insert but the old frontpieces, black and red, stitched with company numbers. There were barber chairs and pool tables. Old sets of weights and workout gear - nothing like today's equipment and treadmills. Workshop tools. Car maintenance parts, cleaners and tools. And you could still find coal.
 

NPeruta96

New member
Joined
Jun 9, 2022
Messages
8
My father had a bunch of different house watch journals. He would buy them from the fire department flea markets. So if your interested in collecting them i suggest looking at fire department flea markets.
 
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