CINCINNATI SALVAGE CORPS
110 East 8th Street Building today
The only postcards on this page are the first two images. The Cincinnati Underwriters Salvage Corps was closely coordinated with the Cincinnati Fire Department. While firefighters were trying to put the fire out the Salvage Corps was fighting to save whatever personal property they could from the ravages of smoke and water. Begun by one man in the early 1880's, Herman Newman, who slept at Engine Co. 9's firehouse on Race Street. A Supply of tarpaulins, lanterns, and rubber boots were stored around the city at various businesses. Insurance companies saw the cost advantages of saving furniture and clothing from fire and water damage. The underwriters for the insurance companies took over the salvage operation in 1886. Below is section one of the state charter okaying the formation of the Underwriters Salvage Corps.
Below are some of the horses and men of the 19th century Salvage Corps. The first one shows an action shot of a pair of matched white horses.
Corpsman Chris Wolfer is shown at the "Joker" alarm station in the old headquarters at 110 East 8th Street.
In 1905 the Salvage Corps received the first motorized fire apparatus in Cincinnati. A 50HP two-cylinder Winton passenger-car chassis was assembled at the Thomas B. Hanauer Bicycle Company of Cincinnati. The first image show this fire apparatus being christened by the Chief's daughter Marguerite thus this vehicle is always refered to as the "Marguerite". You will see the name on the side in the following photographs. In 1909, "Marguerite" was sent to the Ahrens factory to be fitted with an all steel body, (the original had a wood body with wicker equipment lockers, not very fire resistant!) The 2nd image was taken in 1909 at the Hill and Griffith fire. The last two are "Beauty" shots of the new vehicle. Why they are not wearing their uniforms in the 3rd one is a mystery.
The next row shows the Salvage Corps in the 1950s. The 3rd image show the corpsmen in their full regalia.
This is a Salvage Corps article of the City Hall fire in 1957.
The next two images show the Salvage Corps at the scene of a warehouse fire. The last image show some of the canvas "salvage covers" the Corps used to protect the contents from smoke and water damage.
On June 30, 1959 the insurance underwriters ceased its salvage operations. The Cincinnati Fire Department began to train a new squad (squad 1) to not only fight fires but to also do the necessary salvage jobs. Squad 1 was based with Engine Company 5. All ladder companies began to carry salvage equipment. This squad was disbanded in January of 1975. On July 15, 1982 the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.