5. Firefighting Used To Required A Draft System

Untapped CitiesIMG_7154 2Statue at the New York Fire Museum commemorating lives saved.

From the 1600s to the early 1800s, the fire department required all able-bodied citizens- men, women and children- to help in fighting fires; there was no discrimination in this draft. Protecting the city’s inhabitants and their belongings called for every household’s contribution. Each house was required to maintain two full buckets of water by the front door at all times, should a neighbor’s house ignite.