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Object Name Uniform
Alternate Name Fireman's Shirt
Date 1880-1905
Description Fireman's shirt of red wool. Pullover style, double-breasted with pointed collar. Front has non-functioning buttons on wearer's left and functioning buttons at center of neckline and on wearer's right, all covered with self-fabric. Back has pointed yoke. Long sleeves have buttoned cuffs. Appliqued with number "3" in white fulled wool on front of panel. Shirttail hem. Cloth label inside neckline: "CAIRNS & BRO / FIREMEN'S / EQUIPMENTS / 143 GRAND ST. N.Y."
(Keywords: Fashion, Work Clothes, Firefighter, Occupational Clothing, New York)
Acquisition Gift of Samuel Piper
Ownership and History The number on this shirt probably represents Port Richmond Engine Company No. 3 of Staten Island's North Shore Fire Department. It belonged to volunteer firefighter Richard Neill and was donated to the Staten Island Historical Society by his nephew, Samuel Piper.

Port Richmond Engine Company No. 3 served Staten Island from about 1857 to 1905. The company was located at 232 Richmond Avenue in Port Richmond. Shirts like this were worn by firemen as early as the 1850s, and one is illustrated in an 1858 print published by Currier and Ives with the title "The American Fireman.- Always Ready." Local tradition suggests that Italian liberator Giuseppe Garibaldi, who lived on Staten Island for a time, was influenced by this style of firefighter's shirt in dressing his force of volunteer soldiers in Italy.
Earliest Date 1880
Latest Date 1905
Maker Cairns & Bro.
Subjects Clothing & dress
Fire fighters
Fire fighting
Lexicon Sub-category Clothing -- Outerwear
Catalog Number C01.2687
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by The Coby Foundation, 2009.
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.