Harold Vincent Smith

Harold Vincent Smith

Birth
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 13 Dec 1962 (aged 73)
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 126997412 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Harold Vincent Smith was born in Philadelphia to a prominent lawyer. His first job was as an egg handler for $18 a month. In his teens, he got a job as a demonstrator for the Victor Talking Machine Company. While working there in 1910, he was discovered by the president of the Franklin Fire Insurance Company, who offered him a job at his firm. He rose rapidly through the ranks, becoming Secretary in 1920. After Home Insurance Company acquired Franklin, he moved to New York City where he became Vice President in 1929 and President and Chairman of the Board in 1937. Mr. Smith served on the Board of many companies and non-profit organizations including Lehman Brothers, Manufacturer's Trust, the 1939 and 1940 New York World's Fair Corporations and Beekman Downtown Hospital.

An avid fire buff, Mr. Smith amassed one of the largest collections of firefighting antiques and artifacts. In the 1940's, he established a museum to house and exhibit his collection on the twelfth floor of the Home Insurance Company at 59 Maiden Lane. He hired Kenneth Holcomb Dunshee to curate the museum. Mr. Dunshee wrote two books based on the collection, "Enjin! Enjin!" and "As You Pass By" both of which are seminal books on FDNY history.

As President of Home Insurance, Mr. Smith also served as President of the New York Board of Fire Underwriters from 1940 through 1942 and the New York Fire Patrol. He was an Honorary Deputy Chief in the FDNY.

After his passing, his collection was disassembled. Components of the collection were donated to several fire museums, most notably the Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY) Museum in Hudson, New York and the New York City Fire Museum.


Sponsored by Ancestry

Advertisement

Advertisement

  • Created by: Gary Urbanowicz
  • Added: 27 Mar 2014
  • Find a Grave Memorial 126997412
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Harold Vincent Smith (17 Sep 1889–13 Dec 1962), Find a Grave Memorial no. 126997412, citing Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Gary Urbanowicz (contributor 47731674) Unknown.