San Francisco Fire Department Museum
Backstory and Context
If you would like to learn more about the history of the San Francisco Fire Department throughout the years, including the tragedy of the 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires, then the Fire Museum is the perfect spot for you. The museum houses one of the largest collections of historic fire department memorabilia on the west coast, and is completely run by volunteers.
Hidden away in the Pacific Heights neighborhood, the museum offers a unique insight into the city's history. The museum houses more than five large iterations of early fire trucks, from hand pumped to horse-drawn. Firefighters resisted the use of horses early on, but the city’s notoriously steep hills left them with few options. Only the driver and the engineer of the company rode on the engine, with the remaining members relied on the company house wagon to respond to calls. By 1922, the department relied on motorized units.