National Geographic : 1975 Jul
Weapons against fire, hand pumpers became common in Philadelphia after Franklin brought "order and method" to the wild confusion surrounding conflagrations. His Union Fire Company was the city's first brigade of volunteers. Owner's name on a leather bucket assured its return when he threw it to passing fire fighters. Franklin's company brought such buckets to monthly meetings, where men practiced techniques; fines from absentees paid for new equipment. Interlocked hands on this fire mark identified a colonial home insured by the Philadelphia Contributionship, America's oldest fire insurance company. Promoted by Franklin in 1752, it flourishes still. 100 ~51~"