COLLECTING MINIATURE FIREHOUSES
My interest in collecting miniature firehouses began in the mid-seventies when I was interested in model railroading. I had set up a train layout in my garage with buildings and small villages including a firehouse. I needed vehicles and fire trucks, so I began checking the German companies that sold vehicles for model railroading. Some were Preiser, Roco, Roskopf and Wiking. These companies also offered firehouses which I began collecting. Within two years, I had accumulated over twenty different firehouse kits which I assembled.
My interest in model railroading came to a halt when I had to use my garage to store my car. I had to take down my train layout and temporarily put it away.
In 1982, I attended my first Collectible Toy show. I was very impressed with the life-like emergency vehicles offered for sale by Conrad, Siku, Solido and Corgi to name a few. All 1/50 scale. I then began collecting emergency vehicles (fire, police and ambulance) and firehouses for displaying them. By the mid-eighties, I had collected over fifty firehouses, mostly plastic, tin and cardboard.
By 1984, Department 56 introduced their porcelain villages including their first firehouse which sold for $34.00. Since then, they have introduced over twelve different firehouses for their many villages retiring many of them worth many times their original price. Also, Lemax, Danbury Mint and Lefton's "Great Halls of Fire" were being offered for sale during that time.
Throughout the nineties, each Christmas season brings out many companies that make miniature villages, many including a firehouse. I have been purchasing many of these procelain or resin village firehouses and now have over 400 in my collection.
Some of my favorites are the eight resin Danbury Mint Firehouses (1995), six resin Lefton’s “Great Halls of Fire”(1996}, eight wood Brandywine firehouses (2000}, six Hawthorne “Code of Honor” fire stations (2003) and the Code 3 fire stations.
Fifty pieces of my collection are on display at the new Los Angeles Fire Department Museum in
When in the