Firefighting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 1741-1917

Through contemporary news accounts, archival records, and rare artifacts and photographs, "Firefighting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 1741-1917" tells the story of how a town battled the elements - and won. The story begins with the bucket brigades of the Moravian community during the Colonial Period, soon supplemented with two of the country's earliest fire engines.

It tracks the parallel path of the town's expansion to the south and west and of the infrastructure improvements that made it possible. Each of the four boroughs that would eventually merge to form the modern City of Bethlehem - Bethlehem, South Bethlehem, West Bethlehem, and Northampton Heights - had its own fire department, made up most of volunteers, and its own logistical and financial challenges. Water supplies and water pressure were unreliable, equipment frequently failed, funding was scarce, and unpaved streets were often impassable. This book illustrates how Bethlehem's early firefighters overcame each of these challenges and more with courage, humor, and camaraderie.

  • Title: "Firefighting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 1741-1917"
  • Authors: Chris Eline, Nancy Rutman, and Karen Samuels
  • Published: 2017 by Perseverance Publishing LLC
  • Printed in Bethlehem, PA
  • Dimensions: 10" x 8"
  • 136 pages

Where Old Meets New

Subscribe now to hear about what's happening at Domaci.