Fireboat John J Harvey celebrates her 83rd birthday today!

Photo by Mitch Waxman

Launched in 1931, she served New York Harbor, first as a FDNY vessel until her retirement from the forces in 1994 and as a historic and educational vessel from 2000 to today.

Photo by Mitch Waxman

 

When construction started in 1930 by Todd Shipbuilding’s Plant at the foot of 23rd Street on Brooklyn’s Gowanus Bay, Harvey was the largest, most powerful fireboat in the world.

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Via BlindDogVideo

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The first fireboat with internal combustion power, she changed the face of  fireboat construction, thus setting the stage for a modernized fireboat fleet. Harvey is an electric boat. Her five diesel engines drive generators which provide electricity to her massive propulsion motors.

The heart of the bell boat. Photo by Mitch Waxman

 

Harvey’s hull is made of riveted steel and her monitors are capable of drawing water through large sea chests installed in the hull and pumping up to 18,000 gallons of water a minute. Her output is equal to about 20 land fire engines.

Photo by Mitch Waxman

 

The fireboat Harvey is an integral part of New York’s maritime history. She was added to the The National Register of Historic Places in 2000 and works to raise awareness of the importance of historic vessels with free public trips around the harbor and beyond.

Photo via fireboat.org

 

A big shout-out to her dedicated crew and volunteers who work to keep John J Harvey a living part of our maritime history. Want to become a volunteer? You can! Both experienced people and absolute novices are needed.

 

Photo via Fireboat.org

 

For information about John J Harvey’s free public trips (yes, with water displays!) keep an eye on their events calendar or sign up for their Mailing List for updates.

Photo via The NY Times

 

And now… it’s cake time! Happy Birthday Harvey!!

by Mai Armstrong, for the Working Harbor Committee

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