Engine 20 was organized March 15, 1871 in the former quarters of the Diligent Fire Company on the southwest corner of 10th and Filbert Streets.

The original company roster was as follows:
Foreman David Mouat
Engineer A.C. Baker
Driver George Long
Fireman Warren B. McCarter
Hoseman J.H. Gray
Hoseman W.H. Myers
Hoseman J. Ege
Hoseman L.C. Lindsay
Hoseman W. Bringhurst
Hoseman Edward Bradley
Hoseman P.T. Cook
Hoseman William Tomlin

The company went into operation with a first size (900 gpm) Amoskeag Steamer built in 1862. The steamer was purchased from the Diligent Fire Company for $3000.00. Also assigned to Engine 20 upon organization was a hand-drawn hose carriage with 750 feet of gum rubber hose. The hand-drawn hose carriage was replaced later in the year with a new horse-drawn Gardner & Fleming hose carriage.

During 1876 Engine 20 moved to a new station at 911 Filbert Street. They remained here until 1888 when they moved to a new station at 20 N. 10th Street. On June 5, 1956 Engine 20 moved to a new station on the northeast corner of 10th and Cherry Streets. An era ended when Engine 20 moved from 20 N. 10th Street. That was the last station being rented. Moving in with Engine 20 at the new station at 10th & Cherry Streets was Ladder 23. The ladder was moved from Headquarters at 1328 Race Street.

At 4:43PM on October 30, 1938 Box 52 at 5th and Callowhill Streets was struck. Engine 20 responded north on 9th Street and the Rescue Squad, responding from Headquarters responded east on Race Street. At the intersection of 9th and Race Streets the Rescue Squad collided with Engine 20’s wagon. The impact threw four firemen from the apparatus, propelling one into a civilian standing on the sidewalk, fracturing the civilian’s pelvis. Hosemen William Freudenberg and John Linaka, both of the Rescue Squad were killed. Eleven other members of the Bureau were injured along with two civilians. The box they were responding to was pulled for an automobile fire.

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