Firefighting museum documents 50 years in new book

Hall of Flame Firefighting at 50 by Dr. Peter Molloy.
Hardcover with dustjacket, 11 inches by 8 1/2 inches, 202 pages, $44.95. ISBN 9781934729755. M.T. Publishing Co., www.mtpublishing.com, info@mtpublishing.com, 812-468-8022.
Also available through the Hall of Flame Museum, www.hallofflame.org.

Dr. Peter Molloy has archived the first 50 years of the Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting, one of the world’s largest firefighting museums, which now finds its home in Phoenix, Ariz. The mission of the Hall of Flame is the collection and display of fire apparatus and equipment, the recognition of American firefighters who have died in the line of duty and fire safety education.

Dr. Molloy, the museum’s executive director, tells the life story of the Hall of Flame, from its foundation in Lake Geneva, Wis., in 1963 by avid firefighting memorabilia collector George F. Getz Jr. through its move to Phoenix and all the museum has to offer visitors today, including children’s fire safety programs and access to a records database of nearly 9,000 firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty located in the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes.

Firefighting history and techniques are explored from the 17th century through today. The book is richly illustrated by large, clear photographs of authentic firefighting equipment both large and small. Accompanying the images are descriptions that include how and when the apparatus were used.

Part American history book, part equipment catalog and part homage to firefighters past and present, anyone with an interest in firefighting will find “Hall of Flame Firefighting at 50” appealing.

Page after page is filled with a bright, colorful parade of fire trucks, including makers such as Seagrave, American La France, Brockway, Rumsey, Ford and so on. Not all of the photographs are in color, however, it’s a beautifully crafted book with large, clear print on glossy pages and will be as at home on the coffee table as on the library shelf.

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