By Amy S. Greenberg
Though principal to the social, political, and cultural lifetime of the nineteenth-century urban, the city volunteer fireplace division has however been principally overlooked by way of historians. Redressing this overlook, Amy Greenberg finds the which means of this important establishment through evaluating the hearth departments of Baltimore, St. Louis, and San Francisco from the past due eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth century. Volunteer hearth businesses safe hugely flammable towns from hearth and supplied many males with friendship, brotherhood, and how to end up their civic advantage. whereas different students have claimed that fireplace businesses have been basically operating type, Greenberg indicates that they have been really combined social teams: retailers and dealing males, immigrants and native-born--all came across a typical id as firemen. Cause for Alarm provides a brand new imaginative and prescient of city tradition, one outlined no longer by means of category yet by means of gender. Volunteer firefighting united males in a shared masculine party of power and bravado, ability and visual appeal. In an another way alienating surroundings, fireplace businesses supplied males from all walks of lifestyles with prestige, group, and an outlet for festival, which occasionally even ended in problematic brawls.
While this tradition was once totally revered within the early 19th century, altering social norms ultimately demonized the firemen's imaginative and prescient of masculinity. Greenberg assesses the legitimacy of accusations of violence and political corruption opposed to the firemen in each one urban, and areas the municipalization of firefighting within the context of city social swap, new beliefs of citizenship, the fast unfold of fireside coverage, and new firefighting technologies.
Originally released in 1998.
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Additional info for Cause for Alarm: The Volunteer Fire Department in the Nineteenth-Century City
Both of these editors avoided controver sial topics and hoped primarily to entertain their audiences. The Fireman's Journal also graced some elegant parlors, although it seems unlikely that those two publications ever shared space on a table. Boruck directed his paper toward a male, and manly, audience. This enter taining and informative weekly journal offered the firemen of the 1850s and 1860s the latest in fire department and sporting news as well as a dose of "light reading," much of which pertained directly to gender.
INVESTING IN PROTECTION A flame creeps through, and out at the windows—and the door of a mansion, in whose chambers sleep the innocent and the young. The destroyer seems to lull the sleepers to deeper forgetfulness, and as death hurries toward them, the alarm bell strikes, and ere its first tones send their voices far, the fireman leaps from his couch and rushes to the tenement The cry is passed that they must perish; "Not so," he answers, and careless for the ties that bind him to home and life, he mounts to the blazing rooms, and pushing through the suffocating smoke, snatches from its cradle, and from death, the loved child and bears it safely to its mother's arms, or wakens those who profoundly slumber on the fiery brink.
58 Fire is at once life itself (since to be living is to be hot), and much greater than life, capable of subsuming life and of feeding itself. "In comparison with the intensity of fire, how slack, inert, static and aimless seem the other intensities that we perceive. They are not embodiments of growth. They do not fulfill their promise. " The Missouri Democrat reported that St. Louis borders were understandably "terror struck" when their building caught on fire in 1855. " Who but the transcendent could even attempt to do battle with this most intense and powerful of fiends?