|Collection of the week: London Fire Brigade|
Last week, COTW highlighted the Metropolitan Police Archive, so we thought we'd follow it up with the collection of another branch of one of the emergency services - the London Fire Brigade, or to give it its formal title, The London Fire Commissioner.
We have been exclusive representatives of this extensive archive for some years, which documents the fire service in London from the 19th century to the present day. Not only is it an incredible record of the development of firefighting equipment and techniques from early uniform to horse-drawn fire engines, it is also a visual record of the history of the LFB itself and includes key figures and significant fires such as the destruction of the Crystal Palace in 1936. Of particular note is the LFB's photography of London during the Blitz, a period in which the service played an essential role; the resulting images feel like a definitive document of the capital's experience during the most intense air raids. There are picture sets of some of London's most devastating disasters such as the King's Cross fire and Ladbroke Grove train crash. More modern photography brings us right up to the 21st century with coverage of training, royal visits and the LFB's sterling response to all kinds of emergencies across London. Don't miss pictures of more unusual incidents such as a a boy who in 1947 managed to get himself stuck in a milk churn and was delivered to Brigade HQ on a milk float!
There are almost 3500 London Fire Brigade images available to license through our site but you can extinguish your curiosity by clicking here to see an edited selection.
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