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Browse the Adkinson Collection

Harold Brown Adkinson Fire Photo Collection

Harold Adkinson Fire station

Harold Adkinson (1906-1944) was a life-long resident of Indianapolis and a graduate of Arsenal Technical High School. He joined the Fire Department in 1934 and was eventually assigned to Station #12 on Sherman Drive.

On December 16, 1944, Adkinson was part of a crew on a routine test run of Engine #20. The vehicle apparently slid on some ice and ran into a car, overturning the engine. Chauffeur Hubert S. Toombs died at the scene and Adkinson, who was standing on the back step of the engine, was thrown from the vehicle. He died from his injuries five days later.

Mr. Adkinson's interest in the fire department extended to amassing a sizeable collection of photographs and other documents relating to the Indianapolis Fire Department. After his death, his family donated his collection of over 900 photos to the Indiana State Library. These historic photographs, dating from 1874-1939, include images of trucks and other vehicles, fire stations, group photos, fire scenes, and daily life.

Through a partnership with the Indiana State Library and the IUPUI University Library, the Indianapolis Public Library is pleased to add these images to our digital collection of firefighting history in Indianapolis. We present them with the support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Indiana State Library.

Institute of Museum and Library Services
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