Fireman’s Hat from the Museum Collection

In the spirit of our upcoming Second Saturday program on February 11th, we are taking a look at Berks County’s Historic Heros. We don’t have any artifacts that memorialize September 11th, but we do have a treasure trove of artifacts that honor Berks County’s Firefighers and Police.

This fireman’s hat from the early 20th century belonged to George W. Reed (1881-1971), a member of Reading’s Junior Fire Company #2. Formed in December 1813, the Junior Fire Company is the city’s second oldest fire department, and for much of its history occupied a building at the corner of Walnut and Vine Streets. George Reed was a machinist for Progressive Machine Works who had a long affiliation with the Junior Fire Company, serving as its president in 1912 and 1913, and appearing as an active member at least as late as 1938.