Exhibits Main

Exhibit Building 1


The Memorial Wall – A beautifully sculptured tribute to all of the Memphis Fire fighters who died in the line of duty.

Shelby County 911 Exhibit - Interactive educational exhibit showcasing the importance of 911 and proper use of 911, the history of 911, educational games for children, videos for children, teens and adults.

The Hale Water Tower – This restored piece of fire fighting apparatus was used from 1897 until 1973 to extinguish fires in multi-level buildings.

The 1929 American LaFrance Pumper – A restored motorized fire engine used in the early 1900’s.

Portraits of Memphis Fire Department Officers – Recognizes Memphis Fire Department Directors, Chiefs, Fire Marshals and other high-ranking officers from the past and present.

Prints and Portrait of the First Class of Black Fire fighters – Recognizes the twelve men who in 1955 made up the first class of black fire fighters in Memphis.

Oil Paintings of Fire fighters at Work – Paintings created by an artist while at the scene of actual fires.

Antiques Collected from Past Eras of Fire Fighting – Chief’s desk, helmets, badges, lanterns, toy fire engines, etc.

Fire Museum Gift Shop – A large selection of souvenirs and specialty items relating to fire safety. 

Building II Exhibits

BUILDING II (First Level)

911 Dispatcher’s Radio – This allows children actually hear 911 calls in progress.

1865 Fire Alarm Bell – This is the actual bell that was located at the old Fire Headquarters on Front Street. It was used before the days of telephones and electronic alarms.

The Benefactors’ Brigade – This special wall lists the names of those individuals and organizations that made a significant contribution to the Fire Museum.

Ol’ Billy – A life-sized animatronic talking horse and the Fire Museum’s official greeter. By listening to Ol’ Billy and watching the accompanying video, children learn about the history of the Memphis Fire Department during the era of the horse drawn fire apparatus.

Replica of “Little Vigor” – “Little Vigor” was Memphis’ first fire engine, a small hand pulled engine that required 8 men to operate.

The E.H. Crump Steamer – Named after the late Mayor E.H. Crump. This was the Memphis Fire Department’s first horse-driven steam fire engine.

The 1912 R.A. Utley American LaFrance Pumper – This was the first motorized fire engine purchased by the Memphis Fire Department and named after City Commissioner R.A. Utley.

Fire fighter Mannequin on Slide Pole – Illustrates how fire fighters descended from their sleeping quarters in the earlier years of fire fighting.

Video Kiosks – These are located in various areas throughout the museum. They give historical and descriptive information about Memphis, the Memphis Fire Department, the Fire Museum of Memphis and many of its exhibits.

Snorkel Basket Simulator – Gives a simulated experience of riding up in a snorkel basket and trying to extinguish a fire. This exhibit helps children develop an insight on how fire fighters actually put out fires.

Fire Truck – A 1967 LaFrance Pumper that children can actually get in and play “fire fighter.” It is equipped with child-sized turnouts.

E-One Cab – This is a portion of a real fire engine, built to the same specifications as those currently used by the Memphis Fire Department. Children can also act out the role of fire fighter.

EMS Paramedic Ambulance – This is the actual part of an ambulance that is used to treat and transport patients to area hospitals. It is fully equipped and includes a video with related information.

NOTE: A wheelchair lift is available to make each exhibit handicap accessible.

BUILDING II (Second Level)

Room 1

Replica of Fire Fighter Rescuing Child – This mannequin of a fire fighter in full turnouts, rescuing a child allows children to see what a fire fighter actually looks like when he goes out to fight for a fire. It also shows that fire fighters are community helpers and children should not be afraid of them.  

Red Door Fund Video – This video recognizes each of the fire fighters and other employees who contributed funds in support of the Fire Museum of Memphis.

Great Fires of Memphis Video and Pictures – Gives detailed information on all the city’s major fires.

Arson and Firesetters Videos – Gives information on arson and firesetting and allows children to see the consequences that can result from fireplay.

Black Fire fighters Video – Personal interviews and information on what it was like being in the first class of black fire fighters.

Historical Artifacts – Badges, journals and other articles used by fire fighters in earlier years.

Room 2

Model of Firehouse #1 – This is a ½ inch scale model of Fire House No. 1 as it appeared in 1910. Children will gain insight on exactly what a firehouse looked like in the early years of fire fighting in Memphis.

Fallen Fire fighters Video – This interactive video allows children to learn more about each of the individual fire fighters who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Antique Lockers with Fire fighter Uniforms – Some of Fire House No. 1’s original lockers containing various articles of fire fighter uniforms from earlier years.

Room 3

Fire Safety House – This is a layout of a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room containing fire hazards that are highlighted and explained by a video that is located in each room.

The Escape Maze – This allows children the opportunity to learn and practice how to get out of a house when there is a fire.

The Fire Room – This room allows children to actually experience what it feels like to be in a burning house.