Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.

FIREMEN’S QUARTERS FULL OF ACTION

Morning Star, August 2, 2009, pg. 16

Thank you for all who turned out for my book signing at the Farmers Market last Saturday. Please spread the word to your relatives and classmates about my new book “Albion in Review.” If your high school class is having a reunion, how about having my books at your event? Feel free to contact me at: Albionfp@hotmail.com. Information about the book itself is found on the www.albionmich.com website, including a full index prepared by Robin James.

Our new fire station is sure rapidly taking shape. This is the fourth fire station Albion has had since it became a city. Earlier this year we pictured the fire station on W. Cass St. that used to sit where parking lot now is just east of Hungry Howies pizza. What was life like for a fireman in that building?

Back then, firemen on shift slept in quarters located on the second floor of the fire station. They didn’t go home at night. When the alarm rang, they would spring out of bed, dress, run to the pole, slide down the pole, mount the fire trucks, and speed off to the fire in classic firemen fashion. There exists a series of staged “action” shots from ca. 1910, showing the Albion Fire Department demonstrating this process.

The first photo shows the firemen snoozing soundly in their spring beds with casters. The second photo shows them springing out of bed (a little pun on words there). The third shows them dressing themselves, and the last photo has them running to the pole and sliding down. From our Historical Notebook this week we present the third photo, entitled “Getting Ready.” It features our Albion firemen racing against the clock in order to dress themselves. In a look around the room, the fire pole is in the center by the radiator. On the far right on the wall is a crank telephone where you had to speak to the operator. I do not see any coffeemakers present in this photo. How many of our readers remember ever sliding down a fire pole? Note: We’ll put all four photos on the www.albionmich.com website when this article is posted there.


Albion Firemen 1: Sleeping soundly

Albion Firemen 2: Springing out of bed

Albion Firemen 3: Getting dressed

Albion Firemen 4: Down the pole!

Next: 1922 HIGH SCHOOL CORNERSTONE CLASS GIFT

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