Firefighter's presentation piece consisting of a coiled rope in a glass-front display case. Inside the case is a label which reads: "PRESENTED TO WILLIAM T. BEGGIN, DEPUTY / FIRE CHIEF OF THE BOROUGH OF RICHMOND, / BY THE CITIZENS AND TAXPAYERS OF SAID / BOROUGH, FOR AN "ACT OF BRAVERY" ON THE PART OF MR. BEGGIN, IN MAKING A DARING / RESCUE OF TWO HUMAN LIVES ON JUNE 10TH / 1911."
(Keywords: Firefighting Equipment, Firefighter, Commemorative, FDNY, New York City Fire Department)
|Ownership and History||
This is an unusual example of firefighting or rescue equipment that was incorporated into a commemorative presentation piece. William T. Beggin, the recipient, was promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief of the New York Fire Department by Commissioner Waldo in May of 1910 and was assigned to the Eighth Division, which covered Staten Island.
In June 1911, around the same time this piece was presented to him, Beggin was among a small group of candidates for the position of Chief in an appointment process that was reportedly accompanied by some controversy regarding the assessment of seniority and honors.
The circumstances of the "daring rescue" referred to by this artifact are not known, but the Richmond County Advance reported that a destructive storm took place on the evening of June 10, 1911, bringing wind, hail, rain, thunder and lightning across the island.
Deputy Fire Chief Beggin remained commander of the Staten Island force until his death in December of 1928.
|Lexicon Sub-category||Ceremonial Artifact|
Beggin, William T.
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