101320 | UNITED STATES. Endicott, New York. Brass Firemen's Parade Badge.
101320 | UNITED STATES. Endicott, New York. Brass Parade Badge. Issued 1912 for the 8th annual Tri-Village Firemen's convention & parade (65x92mm, 16.71 g).
Three clasps, each decorated with scrolled border; the top reading: "8TH ANNUAL PARADE / ENDICOTT FIRE DEPT. / AUGUST 31ST 1912 in three lines;" the middle displaying: vignettes of Chief Charles E. Sweet between First Assistant Chief Lee E. Baker and Second Assistant Chief James J. Murphy; the bottom reading "FOREMEN / GEO. F. JOHNSON HOSE CO. NO. 1 / M. E. LIDDLE / L. D. DUREN HOSE CO. NO. 2 / CARL GRISWALD / BUNDY H. & L. CO. NO. 1 / ARTHUR HARTER" in seven lines; image of shoe in background.
Essentially as issued, though reverse pin has been replaced at the top, with the two others missing. A great piece of Americana from New York's Southern Tier.
Emerging as one of the "Triple Cities" in the Southern Tier of New York, Endicott was the final of these three triplets (the others being Binghamton and Johnson City) to be established, incorporated largely as a company town in 1906. The source of the village's early boom was shoes—namely, the Endicott-Johnson Shoe Company, which rapidly grew to become one of the largest shoe manufacturers in the nation, even supplying nearly all of the footwear for America's war efforts in World Wars I and II. "E-J" quickly became a highly sought-after employer on account of the "square deal" promoted by company president and partner, George F. Johnson. Employment, though piecemeal, offered medical benefits and the first 8-hour workday/40-hour workweek in the shoe industry. Additionally, activities and attractions for the workforce outside of the job were created, such as libraries, parks, pools, parades, and even company built homes.
This badge was for the 8th annual parade for the association of firemen from the "tri-villages" of Endicott, Union, and Johnson City (then still known as Lestershire), with 1912 being the inaugural year for the creation of Endicott's fire department. Notable firefighting companies among the parade's foremen included the George F. Johnson Hose Co. No. 1 (named after the aforementioned G. F. Johnson), the L. D. Duren Hose Co. No. 2, and the Bundy Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1 (named for Harlow E. Bundy, a nearby resident of Binghamton who mass produced his brother's invention of the time clock and whose subsequent business—the Bundy Manufacturing Co.—was eventually amalgamated into what would become IBM). Adding even more local flair, a shoe—emblematic of Endicott itself at the time—is subtly displayed in the background.