Sunday, December 04, 2011

John J. Freyvogel, Soldier-Fireman-Blacksmith-Boatman & Inventor.

The following information comes from; The History of the firemen of the City of Pittsburgh, 1889.

John J. Freyvogel, began life as a carriage blacksmith, and served his time at his trade. He ia apt in the use of tools and makes his own inventions in his own shop. About the time he had finised learning his trade, the war came on and he enlisted for the Union.

He joined Captain Smith's company of Jackson's regiment at Pittsburgh in July 1861.  Colonel Jackson was soon promoted to Brigadier General, and was killed on the fatal fields of Fredericksburg.  Freyvogel paricipated in all the battles fought by Pennsylvania troops in the Army of Potomac, including Fredersburg.
He was wounded four times in the Fredericksburgh fight.  One bullet entered his thigh, two tore his knee, and one lodged in his calf of his leg.  He was left upon the field, and fell into the hands of the enemy.  He was taken to Libby prison and put in the hospital. 

Author's note.  He was in the 9th., Pennsylvania Reserve Corps/ 38th, Pennsylvania Volunteers, company A., Enrolled July 16, 1861, at Allegheny Co., Mustered in July 28, 1861, at Washington D. C. Enlisted as a private for 3 years.  Discharged on surgeon's certificate March 24, 1863.  On the enrollment card he is listed under two names; Freyvogel and Fregoogel.  In the company roster he is listed as John J. Fregoogel. 

As soon as he was able to walk he was parold on account of his wounds.  When released from captivity he was sent to the Naval School Hospital, Annapolis, where he remained four months.  After he had recovered, his wounds still rendered him unfit for duty, and he was honorably discharged in April, 1863.  He came home and obtained employment upon the gun-boats, that were then being fitted up for, the Union service at Pittsburgh.  After the gun-boats were finished he went into other employment, until he joined the Fire Department in 1872.

Engine Company No 5 was organized as part of the Pittsburgh Fire Department in April, 1872.  Freyvogel was engineer.  In 1889, he still holds that position.  Freyvogel has a love for mechanics and invention, and afforded by the life of a fireman, has had more to do with keeping him in the department than salary attached to the place.  He has a well esupplied work shop fitted up in the rear of the engine house, and spends all his spare time with his hammer and forge.  As a result of his constant experiments, and study No 5 engine house is supplied with sveral useful and ingenious appliances that are not to be found anywhere eles in the world.

The invention which Freyvogel considers of most value is an improvement upon the hames and hames catchers of the harness.  The improved hames are made entirely of metal, and each sides is in one complete piece.  The rings are welded on solidly.  The cateh is a part of the hames, and there are no parts, liable to work loose and get out of order.  The catch itself works upon the drop principle, and cannot get out of order or become unfastened.  The Warwick Manufacturing Company, of Cleveland, Ohio, now makes Freyvogels's improved hames, and they are coming into general use.

Author's note.  Freyvogel went on to make other improvements, for the fire houses around the wold.  He improved on the horse detaching arrangement.  Also the catch on the doors of the horse stalls.  Also a device for hurrying the horse out of the stalls.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you. CAL