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Fireman Statue by J.W. Fiske Iron Works

  • 319 East State
  • Trenton, NJ 08608
  • Artwork Creator: J.W. Fiske Iron Works
  • Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Access: Open to public
  • Image Source: View Image Source
  • Project Date: 1896

"(Originally stood in front of Old City Hall, State and Broad Streets)
“Beginning in the 19th century, statues of firemen were placed in municipal burial plots memorializing those who died in the line of duty. At first they were carved in marble . . . Later on a few were cast in bronze, while a less expensive option became available towards the end of the century—statues of firemen made of zinc . . . One of the earliest Fireman made of zinc was erected in a St. Paul (MN) cemetery in 1891 . . . Modeled by Caspar Buberl (1834-1899) and sold by J.W. Fiske, the fireman holds a child wearing a nightdress in his left arm . . . It recalls . . . many representations of the Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus .
As firefighting became a paid profession, statues of firemen continued to be placed atop monuments that memorialized volunteer companies, which carried on as social clubs . . . The J.W. Fiske Iron Works apparently updated Buberl's 30-year old model by replacing the ‘leather’ boots worn inside the trousers with ""rubber"" boots worn outside. (Rubber boots had come into use around the turn of the century). Fire hats and belt buckles were also customized by casting the fire company's number, initials, or name. ""Trenton V.F.D,"" for example, identifies the Trenton Volunteer Fire Department on the helmet of a statue in New Jersey. Such changes were easy to effect since the statues were cast in many pieces that were soldered together, and usually only a few sections had to be altered . . . Statues of firemen made of zinc are often in good condition, perhaps only with cracks where solder seams have begun to come apart. Annual cleaning and painting is a tradition for many local fire companies. Most statues were originally painted with copper-flake paints to imitate bronze. Catalogues listed them with one price for ‘painted one coat’ (probably a primer) or for about 10% more, ""bronzed. In 2002, the Fireman in Trenton (NJ) was coated with an attractive custom-made ‘bronze’ paint.” – Carol A. Grissom, Senior Objects Conservator, Museum Conservation Institute, Saving Firemen Made of Zinc"

Public Art

General
  • Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Access: Open to public
  • Artwork Creator: J.W. Fiske Iron Works
  • Project Date: 1896
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