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Fonds Level Description

Accession Number: 77-004


Peterborough Fire Department pension trust fund collection. -- 1864-1941. -- 33 lithographic print plates.

Biography / History

The Peterborough Fire brigade was established in 1850 and until 1908, the brigade ran on a totally voluntary basis. The volunteers were paid a fifteen dollar yearly honorarium for their efforts. The first Captain of the brigade was Robert Swayne. The first Chief Engineer was W.S. Conger and the Assistant Engineer was John R. Benson. From 1886 to 1908, the fire department was housed in the town buildings on the southeast corner of the market square and it shared quarters with the police department. On New Year's Day 1908, a new fire station was opened on Aylmer Street. In the same year, it was decided by the City of Peterborough that a permanent fire brigade was necessary. The change from voluntary to permanent brigade took place on June 30, 1908, and was marked by a grand procession of the old fire brigade. The personnel of the permanent brigade consisted of a Chief, Assistant Chief, two drivers, three paid firemen and six call men.

Custodial History

The lithographic print plates were previously in the custody of the Peterborough Fire Department Pension Trust Fund. Please note that the Pension Trust Fund still holds the right of ownership on the plates, and they are only in the Trent University Archives on a permanent loan.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of 33 lithographic print plates, mounted on wood, of photographic negatives of the fire brigade, Peterborough City Council (1925, 1933 and 1941), the waterworks, the first fire engine, and the Aylmer Street station. There are also print plates of photographic negatives of fires at various buildings in Peterborough including Quaker Oats, the Boston Cafe, the Salvation Army, and the Peterborough Canoe Company.


Title based on the contents of the collection.

Restrictions: N

Finding aids: Y

Additional historical material relating to the Fire Department can be found within the records of the Peterborough Fire Department.

For related records see: 75-1003.

Several of the photographs are reproduced in "The Peterborough Fire Brigade History." Peterborough: Peterborough Examiner, 1925. ([TC] F5547.P4 D62)

Finding Aid

Box 1


1 Bridgeway Building fire, 11 Feb 1941

2 China Hall Fire, 5 March 1900

3 Neill Building Fire, 26 Jan 1918

4 Quaker Oats Fire 11, Dec 1916

5 Salvation Army fire, 11 Jan 1923

Box 2


1 Roy Studio Fire, 19 Jan 1904

2 Boston Cafe Fire, 10 Jan 1918

3 Peterborough Canoe Company, 6 Jan 1918

4 Harvey Street Fire, 10 Feb 1912

5 City Council, 1925

Box 3


1 City Council, 1933

2 City Council, 1941

3 Hamilton Fire Department chiefs

4 Convention PFOFF

5 Peterborough Fire Department 1864

Box 4


1 Peterborough Fire Department 1933

2 Peterborough Fire department 1941

3 George Gimblett, chief

4 George Gimblett

5 Utilities Commission 1925, Pension committee

Box 5


1 Chiefs, Peterborough Fire Department

2 George McDonadl, Ross Dobbin

3 Jimmy Clarke, mascot First Fire engine

4 Waterworks

5 Waterworks

Box 6


1 The Station (Aylmer Street)

2 The Station (Aylmer Street)

3 Officers of the Peterborough fire Department, 1925