1958 Seagrave Fire Engine (LAFD)
One of the primary charters of the LAFD Historical Society is the preservation of artifacts an intellectual property related to the fire service in general, and the Los Angeles Fire Department specifically.
During the past 20 years, the LAFDHS has accumulated a wide variety of artifacts, ranging from firefighting equipment from the 1880s, to more than 30 pieces of motorized apparatus, including some extremely rare fire engines. We have hundreds of hours of film and video tape, shot during the past 60 years. There are thousands of photographs and slides (transparencies) in our collection. We own perhaps one of the largest collections of fire helmets anywhere, and our model fire engine collection fills an entire exhibit room. Many of these models were built from scratch, and look like perfect miniature replicas of fire engines. If we had 100 full-time preservation volunteers, we estimate it would take more than 20 years to rehabilitate all of the historic materials either on display or in storage at one of our facilities.
As such, for our organization preservation includes a wide range of skill sets, including:
Preservation – the maintenance of artifacts
Art conservation – the retention of important artistic impressions
Digital preservation – migration of fragile materials into digital format
Film preservation – saving aged film stock and recorded images
Phonographic/Audio preservation – restoration of vintage audio recordings
Historic preservation – maintenance of our facilities and key artifacts
As our organization evolves, the need for expertise relative to the above preservation activities will increase. We invite anyone interested in preservation to join our volunteer team and to become an involved member of the LAFDHS.