Engine 9 was organized March 15, 1871 at Main and Franklin Streets in the station formerly occupied by the Franklin Fire Company. The city paid $416.66 in rent for the building during 1871. The original company roster was as follows:
Foreman George W. Fox
Engineer George Freas
Driver W.W. Worrell
Fireman Thomas G.C. Bell
Hoseman Charles Whiteman
Hoseman Thomas Brooks
Hoseman John G. Maxwell
Hoseman Jacob Peterman
Hoseman Edward Wright
Hoseman Jacob Guyer
Hoseman Charles Fisher
Hoseman Thomas Hollicks
Mrs. Thomas was the company matron
During 1880 Engine 9 moved to a new station at Main Street and Carpenter Lane. Approximately 1900 the street name was changed from Main Street to Germantown Avenue. A new station was built for Engine 9 at 6900 Germantown Avenue. The company moved in during 1900. In 1907 Auxiliary Truck A was organized. The Auxiliary Trucks were not a full truck company. They were organized in sparsely occupied areas of the city. Engine 9 responded with three pieces of apparatus at all times, the engine, hose wagon, and ladder truck. On January 21, 1926 Auxiliary Truck A was reorganized as Truck 21, a separate truck company.
A new station was built for Engine 9 and Ladder 21 at 6900 Germantown Avenue. It went into operation on July 16, 1963. While the new station was being built, Engine 9 was housed in a garage at the Lutheran Home at 6950 Germantown Avenue and Ladder 21 ran from Engine 37’s house.
Main & Franklin Streets - the original station
Engine 9 and Auxiliary Truck A - all using tractors powered by electricity, circa 1915
6900 Germantown Avenue
New station at 6900 Germantown Avenue
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Jack Wright (April 11, 1963-April 6, 2021) was a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, PA. As a child he was fascinated with fire engines in general and those of the Philadelphia Fire Department in particular. He chased them his entire life. From his early days of grammar school, he watched Engine 53 and Ladder 27 responding to alarms in his South Philadelphia neighborhood. Those scenes made an indelible impression on him. It was at that time that he began collecting photographs relating to the Philadelphia Fire Department.
With his interest in the Philadelphia Fire Department and its history, it was only natural that he found himself at the Fireman’s Hall Museum. In May of 1988 he began working as a museum volunteer. While working there he became involved in researching the department’s history, as well as documenting it. Some of his research has been used by the Philadelphia Fire Department to evaluate their operations and procedures and make changes where necessary. On October 14, 2007 Jack was named the official Philadelphia Fire Department Historian by Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers.
Jack served on the Board of Directors of Fireman’s Hall. He also was a contributing editor for Fire Apparatus Journal. Jack co-authored Hike Out, the only written history of the Philadelphia Fire department ever published. In addition, he published Philadelphia Fire Apparatus Volume 4. He wrote a number of articles relating to the department’s history that have been published in various magazines and newsletters and posts a history blog on the internet. Jack provided presentations to various historical societies in the Philadelphia area regarding the Philadelphia Fire Department.
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