Engine 14 was organized March 15, 1871 in the quarters formerly occupied by the Washington Fire Company of Frankford at 4612 Frankford Road.
The original company roster was as follows:
John H. Comly-foreman
William N. Swallow-engineer
Alfred L. Oat-hoseman
Henry T. Stanwood-hoseman
Howard W. Swope-hoseman
Fernando W. Stearne-hoseman
Mrs. Pennington was the company’s matron.
The station was rented from the former volunteer company until 1874 when the city purchased the building. From March 15, 1871 until December 31, 1871 the city paid $333.33 in rent.
In areas of the city that were not built up yet, auxiliary truck companies were organized to provide the services of a truck company. Auxiliary Truck 14 was organized during 1873. Engine 14 would respond with three pieces of apparatus, the steamer, the hose wagon, and the ladder truck. This arrangement lasted until July 1908 when Truck 15 was organized. Engine 14 and Ladder 15 are now housed in a station built in 1927 at Foulkrod & Darrah Streets, one block east of Frankford Avenue.
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Hike Out says that Engine 14 had a new station in 1888 and the address was 4514 Frankford Ave.
My research shows that the street numbers on Frankford changed and dropped by almost 100. around 1888. The same number change around 1888 can be found in the addresses of the Frankford Mutual Fire Insurance Company and the First Presbyterian Church of Frankford.
It’s possible Engine 14 occupied the same structure from 1871 to 1927.
Do you have any documentation that an actual new firehouse was constructed for Engine 14 in 1888?
I did some research in the Museum recently on your question, looking at the Bureau of Fire Annual Reports from 1888 & 1889. In either report, I could find no mention of a new Engine 14 station, existing or planned. I’m sure from looking at other Annual Reports that it would have been mentioned. However, I did noticed that in the company inventory for Engine 14 in the 1888 report that the address given was 4612 Frankford Ave. In the 1889 inventory, the address given was 4516 Frankford Ave. which would support your research on the street number changes.
So, I think the new station listing in “Hike Out”‘s list of companies is incorrect. Possibly the authors saw the address change in the annual reports and assumed it was a new station. In addition, the authors listed the formation of Engine 14 in 1871 as a new station. Why would a new station be built only a block away in 17 years?
I grew up at 4842 Duffield St. (1964-1978) Just a couple blocks away from the fire house. I used to walk to the little neighborhood store (Charlie’s) directly across from the firehouse and sometimes I would get to hangout and play haffie stickball with the guys out front! I was feeling nostalgic and I looked the old station up on Google Earth and I’m happy to see it’s still in service! I just want to say thanks for the memories and everyone stay safe!