The Fire Museum of Maryland has the third largest collection on display of any fire museum in the world. Among its collection are 42 antique fire apparatus, memorabilia, fire-fighting equipment, models, and photographs.
The Fire Museum gives thought-provoking educational tours and outreach programs for all ages, birthday parties, engine rides, and special events where visitors can see the apparatus in action. Children can dress up in turnout gear and climb on a 1938 Mack Engine in the Discovery Room. Among the hands-on activities, they can ring the bell on an engine, run the lights and pull a hose up into the hose tower.
Visitors can witness the beauty and power of these innovative machines while appreciating the history and selfless work of our nation’s urban fire fighters.
The mission of the Fire Museum of Maryland is to "collect, preserve, display and interpret historically significant apparatus and related artifacts, memorabilia and records of the fire service of the United States, and to educate the public about the history, people, equipment and techniques of the fire service, and about fire prevention and safety
The War of 1812 Exhibit
The War of 1812 hit Baltimore really hard in the Summer and Autumn of 1814 and it was the remarkably well-planned and strong defenses provided by local interests, that kept the British from coming inland. The FMM has one engine that was being used at the time, an 1806 manual pumping engine made by Pat Lyon. Come see this machine as well as an exhibit in the Rare Prints Gallery. Original materials are on loan by Russ Sears and the Maryland Historical Society. Replica uniforms and extensive photos can be seen. “Citizen-Fireman-Soldier” will be up through 2015.
Baltimore City had a fire company in 1763, so 2013 marks its 250th anniversary. The Mechanical Fire Co. still meets annually. Originally formed to fight fires, pirates and Indians, it’s members were leaders in the community. Its 1859 Company Record Book is on display and records the purchase of Baltimore’s second steam fire engine.
Charles T. Holloway
This exhibit discusses Charles T. Holloway, Baltimore’s most famous fire fighter, and the Veterans’ Association. Chief Engineer Holloway’s retirement watch is on display as well as many artifacts from his life and that of his father, Robert, who made the clock for the tower of old Engine 6 on Gay Street.
1871 Engine Co. #8 Facade Restoration
In 2005, the Museum started restoration of cast-iron facade elements from Baltimore's Engine Co. #8. The doorway serves as the entry into the 'Life of the Fireman' exhibit. Grants from the 1772 Foundation, Preservation Maryland, and significant gifts from private donars have enabled the reconstruction to continue each year.
Drawn by Century Engineering
The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904
A fire alarm sounded several minutes before 11 on a Sunday morning at the John E. Hurst Building, a wholesale dry goods house which stood on the south side of German Street at Liberty in the heart of Baltimore’s business district. It was followed by a mighty explosion which blew out the walls of the building, scattering burning embers in all directions. The raging Baltimore Fire of February 7, 1904 was underway. Nearly 36 hours later it was finally brought under control.
Seventy-two fire companies fought the blaze, 38 of them from Philadelphia, New York City, Harrisburg, West Chester, Wilmington, Washington; even as far away as Altoona, PA. National Guard troops from Washington and Philadelphia helped Baltimore Police guard the destruction left in the wake of the fire, protecting against looting. The task of cleaning up the debris was handled by hundred of volunteers who witnessed the fire and offered their help.
Total losses from the fire’s wrath were estimated at more than $150,000,000, a huge sum 85 years ago!
In order to better understand the sights and sounds of the Fire, the Museum has prepared an audio walking tour (25 min.) available of Museum’s Great Baltimore Fire Exhibit. Learn about the Fire and what happened through the eyes of Chief George Horton, the fire fighters who fought it and residents as they watched the city burn.
Click here for more details surrounding the fire.
1922 Engine 7 Rebuilt in 1939
1901 Truck 11 Doors
North Ave., Baltimore
Spring-loaded mechanism allowed for button to be pushed and doors to spring open for horses to be hitched to steamer and leave quickly.
High Pressure Exhibit
The Museum has comprehensive working fire alarm telegraph exhibit available throughout building. Future plans call for upgrading the telegraph system to include more recent fire department technology.
February 10 1-4 pm
Great Baltimore Fire CoachTour
Meet at Museum for a bus and walking tour of the Brunt District with Historian Wayne Schaumburg..
May 4 10am-2pm
Opening Day & 36th Annual Steam Show
Hose wagon rides and demos with hand & horse-drawn apparatus, working steam engines, antique models, kids' contests, Percheron draft horses and Dalmatians.
July 13 12-4pm
Antique Car Show
Chesapeake Region, A.A.C.A.
September 14 10am-2pm
"Cruisin' For Our Heroes"
County Sheriff's Annual Salute to County Fire, Police, EMS & Military Personnel, with Antique Fire Engine Demonstrations & Car Show. Sponsored by area departments and the Baltimore County Commission on Arts & Sciences.
October 26 6-8pm
See fire apparatus in a new light: etched glass signal lamps and kerosene lanterns...also visit with re-enactors in period attire.
November 30 10-4pm
Opening of Holiday Train Garden
Free Photo with Santa in a Fire Chief’s Sleigh
Dec. 7, 14, 21 and Dec. 26-28
Holiday Train Garden
O-scale trains wind through a 20th century town.
Music Sensations Choir sings - Dec. 14, 11 am
NOTE: The Museum is open 10 am - 4 pm; specific hours for events are listed with individual dates.