Here we see a large group of well dressed firefighters from the turn of the 20th century. They are the Neptune Volunteers. Back in the day fires were fought by volunteers from your local area. These guys were situated in the "south end" of Newburyport, Massachusetts and thus turned out to help fight fires in that area of town when the alarm bell sounded.
Their prized handtub is even pictured in the postcard photo. Many of the men are standing on it. It's still in use today, not for fighting fires, which would be rather pathetic, but for muster competitions with other old handtubs.
Did you notice the "trumpets" being held by some of the gentlemen? They were used to shout orders to the men manning the pumps and hose.
Those dress uniforms were quite ornate with lapels, brass buttons, large belt buckles and white gloves. They sure were a proud band of volunteers when they turned out for parades I'm sure.
The photo below shows the Neptune Volunteers handtub on parade recently. The video below shows it in action at a muster this year right here in Salem, Massachusetts.
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Pump hard! It's a long way!