The Collection

Use the field below to browse the Currier & Ives Collection at Springfield Museums

Image for View of the Great Conflagration at New York July 19th, 1845.

View of the Great Conflagration at New York July 19th, 1845.

The Great Conflagration at New York on July 19th., depicts a fire that began in a sperm oil establishment in a commercial district near Broad and Stone Streets. Trouble ensued when flames spread to a building in which saltpeter (a substance used to make gunpowder) was stored, causing a massive explosion. Firefighter Francis Hart Jr. lived to describe this explosion: the “flames shooting across the street… the building falling under me.” In this print, the fire is viewed from the bowling green in lower Manhattan. Although damage was extensive – text below the image estimated a loss of property at $7 million (over $200 million today) – the fact that the fire was contained to older, wooden structures validated the importance of new fire codes and building regulations for stone and steal structures in the city.

Date: 1845

Artists: Nathaniel Currier
Date of Artists: American, 1813-1888
Medium: Hand-colored lithograph
Measurements: 14 x 10 inches
Access Number: 2004-D03-427
Gift of Lenore B. and Sidney A. Alpert, supplemented with Museum Acquisition Funds

Users, log in to add this piece to your personal lightbox

Return To Search Results