Life of an American Fireman

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Original title Life of an American Fireman
LifeOfAnAmericanFiremanqq01 12 56qq00013.jpg
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1903
length 6 minutes
Director George S. Fleming and Edwin S. Porter
script Edwin S. Porter
camera Edwin S. Porter

Life of an American Fireman is an American short film from 1903. Directed by George S. Fleming and Edwin S. Porter . The film pays homage to the work of the fire department . The film was released in January 1903 and is one of the oldest American films with a continuous storyline. He was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2016 .


The film begins with a dream sequence in which a firefighter dreams of his family. A little later someone triggers the fire brigade alarm and all the firefighters wake up from their night's sleep. They rush to the burning house in their carriages and fire engines.

There they try to extinguish the house from the outside. One of the firefighters runs into the burning house and saves the lives of a woman and her daughter. The next sequence shows this rescue of the wife and daughter, this time filmed from outside the house. Eventually the firefighters get the flames under control.

The scenes of the film

The film consists of a total of nine individual scenes, which have been summarized in seven sections.

  1. The Fireman's Vision of an Imperilled [sic] Woman and Child.
  2. A Close View of a New York Fire Alarm Box.
  3. The Interior of the Sleeping Quarters in the Fire House.
  4. Interior of the engine house.
  5. The Apparatus Leaving the Engine House.
  6. Off to the fire.
  7. The arrival at the fire.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Comparison with the text from the Edison catalog
  2. Complete National Film Registry Listing. In: National Film Registry . Library of Congress , accessed February 13, 2020 .
  3. Comparison with the then Edison Films catalog, February 1903, pp. 2–3; Reprinted from Charles Musser in Before the Nickelodeon: Edwin S. Porter and the Edison Manufacturing Company (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991), 216-18.