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This Certifies Courage, Fidelity, Protection
The romantic ideal of a volunteer fireman that Currier & Ives helped to create outlasted the volunteer organizations which dissolved in the late 19th century. Due to the establishment of New York’s Metropolitan Fire Department in 1865, independent volunteer firefighting companies disbanded. However, the certificate of membership on display from 1877 harkens back to earlier glory days, borrowing imagery from prints created in 1854 and 1858. The imagery helps to illustrate the values of courage, fidelity and protection.
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