Fire Bucket, "Naumkeag S. Kennedy"

Fire Bucket, "Naumkeag / S. Kennedy"

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This bucket belonged to Samuel Kennedy, Jr., who lived in Salem, Massachusetts in the mid-nineteenth century. He was listed as a “captain” in the 1850 Salem city directory. Kennedy was most likely a member of the Naumkeag Fire Club, the fourteenth fire club formed in Salem. It was chartered in August 1832. In 1837, the town of Salem also received a Hunneman engine, which was named the Naumkeag #5. (Hunneman engines were named for their maker, William Hunneman, whose company manufactured some 750 engines between 1792 and 1883. ) The volunteer firefighters of Salem most likely chose to name a company and an engine “Naumkeag” because this was the town’s original Indian name. Salem was founded at the mouth of the Naumkeag River in 1626, and the “Christian name” of Salem was given to the town in the first half of the seventeenth century. Companies frequently chose names that had local significance and that would identify them as belonging to and serving a particular neighborhood or town. In Salem, calling a fire club “Naumkeag” connected the organization to the town’s long history, as well with the geography of the region, and thus helped to integrate the club into the community.
Currently not on view
Object Name
bucket, fire
date made
19th century
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Salem
United States: Massachusetts, Salem
Physical Description
leather (overall material)
overall: 11 3/4 in x 8 1/2 in; 29.845 cm x 21.59 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
Fire Fighting
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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