Five Little Firemen

Five Little Firemen

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Description (Brief)

A Little Golden Record based on the well known book, Five Little Firemen, written by Margaret Wise Brown with illustrations by Tibor Gergeley (New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1949). A Little Golden Record, Side 1 Five Little Firemen/Ireene Wicker and Gilbert Mack: The Singing Lady accompanied by Mitch Miller and His Orchestra. Side 2 Bach's Flute Dance from Badinerie of B Minor Suite, performed by Mitch Miller and his Orchestra.

One of the earliest commercial undertakings was the creation of Little Golden Book records. After receiving hundreds of letters from harried parents overwhelmed by their children’s ceaseless requests to read the books over and over, Random House came out with Little Golden Records. In the spring of 1949, the records were advertised as “new and improved” and “far superior in quality” with educational and entertainment content for your children.

These new recordings, produced by the Golden Record Label, founded by Grammy Award Winning producer, Arthur Shimkin, featured golden book stories that included fairy tales, nursery rhymes and some of the ever popular characters such as the Pokey Puppy, the Color Kittens, Five Little Firemen and Circus Time. Shimkin would go on to produce records for Sesame Street.

The record set included a colorfully illustrated copy of the book and a bright yellow one sided 78 record. This new phenomena was advertised to give parents time to complete household chores while your child was occupied in a constructive and beneficial activity-learning to read!

The orchestral and choral background music was conducted and directed by Mitch Miller, a well-known musician and television celebrity who was head of Columbia records and the San Piper Singers. Some musical arrangements included special recording accompaniments by popular actors and singers, including Danny Kaye, Roy Rogers, Captain Kangaroo, Rosemary Clooney, Aaron Copeland, Leonard Bernstein and Bing Crosby.

In 1951 the Golden label introduced a larger 10”, two sided record of a “newly developed plastic” covered in a glossy folder. For only $1.05 these new unbreakable records could stand up to constant use. By 1955 Golden Record Chests with eight 78 records could be purchased for $3.95, but the very next year extended play records were introduced and the 78s were a thing of the past.

Currently not on view
Object Name
sound recording
date made
Sandpiper Press
place made
United States
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 7 in x 7 1/2 in x 1/8 in; 17.78 cm x 19.05 cm x.3175 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Western Publishing Company, Inc. (through Richard Bernstein)
Entertainment, general
Children's Literature
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
Popular Entertainment
Little Golden Books
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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