CHAPTER 12

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Backups

As to our Conduct in the Affair of Extinguishing Fires, tho’ we do not want Hands or Good-Will, yet we seem to want Order and Method, and therefore I believe I cannot do better than to offer for our Imitation, the Example of a City in a Neighbouring Province. There is, as I am well inform’d, a Club or Society of active Men belonging to each Fire Engine; whose Business is to attend all Fires with it whenever they happen; and to work it once a Quarter, and see it kept in order.

—Benjamin Franklin, in an anonymous letter to the Pennsylvania Gazette (of which he was the editor) following a disastrous fire in Philadelphia in the ...

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