Our Firemen, The History of the NY Fire Departments
Chapter 54, Part VIII
By Holice and Debbie
President Hall's address tot he Board on his election in May, 1886, contained some important statements and figures. The following table gibes the assessed valuation of real estate in this city each year since, 1866:
The following table showed the premiums reported for fire patrol assessments in the same years, less brokerage:
He submitted a brief analysis of the business of this city since 1873, selecting this date as it follows the Chicago and Boston fires. The following table gives a comparison of the premiums and their distribution in 1873 and 1885:
In the course of his address, Mr. Hall said:
"The local companies having decreased in number from fifty-nine to fifty-five, and the foreign companies from twenty-five to twenty-two, showing that the efforts to secure reform have been, in a measure, thwarted not only by the tariff companies themselves, but by the companies which have ignored the rules of the Tariff Association, many of the latter having most to fear from a failure to correct present abuses."
A history of Fire Insurance and underwriting in new York would be incomplete without a more the passing reference to the friend of Washingtonian Irving, Lewis Gaylord Clark, and many other literati, William Pitt Palmer, "The Laureate of the Salamanders." This gentlemen, who was the President of the Manhattan Fire Insurance Company, was a native of Massachusetts, and was graduated from Williams College. He came to New York to study law, but he abandoned this profession to study medicine, and just as he had completed his studies he became a clerk in the Manhattan Fire Insurance Company's office. This was in 1834, and he continued in its service until its dissolution. Mr. Palmer had a facile pen in many branches of literature, but it was at the social board that he was conspicuous by his wit and genial conviviality. He was a poet of no mean order, but his forte lay in jeux de mots, and some of his rhymes applied to his profession were exceedingly humorous.
TABULATED STATEMENT OF INSURANCE AND LOSS IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK FOR THIRTY YEARS, ENDING APRIL 30, 1886.
Compiled and arranged by William M. Randell, Esq.,
Secretary of the new York Board of Fire Underwriters.
Transcribed by Holice B. Young
HTML by Debbie
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